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Nigeria defeats Tanzania 2:0 in AYC qualifiers

Published by Daily Trust on Mon, 12 May 2014

Nigeria's national U20 male football team, Flying Eagles got off to a bright start in the 2015 Africa Youth Championship (AYC) qualifiers after they beat hosts Tanzania 2-0 in Dar es Salaam in a second round, first leg clash on Sunday.The Flying Eagles scored in the 49th minute through Musa Yahaya and killed off the contest in the 82nd minute courtesy of striker Taiwo Awoniyi.It was a goalless first half, but Nigeria enjoyed more of the ball possession and created more chances with their biggest opening coming after 24 minutes, when Musa Yahaya blasted wide from inside the six-yard.Newly drafted striker Saad Kipanga from Mbeya City also had a glorious chance to put his team ahead after just five minutes, but his header from inside the box missed its target.The home team suffered a major blow when first-choice goalkeeper and skipper Aishi Manula could not continue after a thigh injury in the first period.He was therefore replaced by Peter Manyika for the resumption of the second half.Four minutes after the break, Nigeria was ahead as Musa Yahaya slotted past the goalkeeper from the near post after a low cross from skipper Musa Muhammed.Kelechi Iheanacho, who replaced Alhassan Ibrahim for the second half, was denied a goal in the 54th minute by a piece of brilliant goalkeeping by Manyika.Flying Eagles goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo ensured he kept a clean sheet when he made a big save in 67th minute and he will again pull off another save late on as Tanzania attacked.But Awoniyi killed off the tie eight minutes from time, when he held off his marker and stand-in captain Pato Ngonyani, before slotting past the onrushing goalkeeper.'This win away from home is very, very good for us going into the return leg match in Nigeria,' Flying Eagles coach Manu Garba said after the match.'Tanzania also showed they are a very good side, but they will have to work on their finishing.'Overall, it was the better team that won even though I was not completely satisfied with the final 15 minutes of the game as we sat back in our defence.'However, Ngorongoro of Tanzania coach John Simkoko insisted they have not given up hope and said they will battle in the return match in Nigeria in a fortnight.'Nigeria were the better team and deserved to win,' he admitted.'But the battle is not over yet as we will come prepared to Nigeria.
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