Record champions of the TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations Nigeria qualified for the semi-finals of the tournament in Egypt following their 1-0 victory over Uganda in Ismailia on Thursday.
Ladan Bosso’s charges saw off the brilliant Hippos in the fiercely contested match at the Suez Canal Stadium to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia.
Uganda left full-back Ibrahim Juma scored an own goal at the half hour mark to secure the Flying Eagles’ place in the last four of the tournament.
The Hippos dominated possession in the opening exchanges with captain Isma Mugulusi and Titus Ssematimba pulling the strings in the middle for Jackson Mayanja’s side.
John Dembe forced a save from Flying Eagles captain and goalkeeper Chijioke Aniagboso inside three minutes of the match.
The two sides canceled each other in the bruising contest with few chances on either end. Nigeria forward Abubakar Ayuba saw his ferocious effort gathered by Abdu Magada in the Hippos goal midway through the first half.
The Flying Eagles went in front through Ibrahim Juma’s own goal when he inadvertently turned the ball into his goal.
The young defender was covering his goal when Ibrahim Muhammad’s sumptuous strike came off the post and bounced off his leg to give Nigeria the victory.
The Ugandans continued to press the Flying Eagles deep into their box but they couldn’t find the equaliser.
Captain Isma Mugulusi and diminutive attacking midfielder Travis Mutyaba all came close but failed to find a way past the towering Chijioke Aniagboso in between the sticks for Ladan Bosso’s team.
Nigeria held on to qualify for the FIFA U-20 World Cup and the semi-finals of the TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations.