The Nigeria Under 17 national team, the Golden Eaglets, will not be a part of the forthcoming FIFA Under 17 World Cup in Indonesia.
The Golden Eaglets failed to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Under 17 World Cup after coming close but falling at the last hurdle.
The Nigeria Under 17 team fell at the quarter-final stage of the qualification series after losing to Burkina Faso 1-2, paving the way for the West African country to beat them to the ticket.
In this piece, we will look at the fixtures and results of the Nigeria Under 17 team in 2023 and assess how they fared.
Nigeria Under 17 fixtures – Pre-CAF Nations Cup qualification
The Golden Eaglets started their journey to 2023 in 2022. The Nigeria Under 17 team had to pass a test to qualify for the 2023 competitions.
In June 2022, they started their march to qualify for the FIFA World Cup with several competitive matches in their zone.
The Golden Eaglets were in the West B Zone (WAFU-UFOA B) group, where seven countries, including Nigeria, were to slug it out for two spots.
The other countries competing in the zone are Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana (Hosts), Ivory Coast, Niger and Togo.
The seven teams were in two groups of three and four teams. The winners and the runners-up of each group advanced to the semi-finals. Nigeria found itself in the same group as Ghana and Togo.
The Nigeria Under 17 team finished top of the group after beating Ghana and Togo 4-2 and 3-1. They also defeated Ivory Coast 3-1 in the semi-final and Burkina Faso 2-1 in the final to qualify for the CAF Under 17 Nations Cup.
Nigeria Under 17 2023 fixtures
Having picked a ticket to play for one of the four slots in the FIFA Under 17 World Cup, the Golden Eaglets were grouped with Morocco, South Africa and Zambia.
The tournament was hosted in Algeria, with the Nigeria Under 17 team as one of the favourites.
The Golden Eaglets started their campaign with a tie against the young Chipolopolo of Zambia on April 30. The Nigeria Under 17 team beat the Zambians 1-0 via a 76th-minute goal by Favour Daniel.
The Golden Eaglets then slipped to Morocco three days later. The Nigerian side fell 0-1 to put their chances of making it to the quarter-final in jeopardy after South Africa beat Zambia 3-2.
However, the Golden Eaglets redeemed themselves against the Amajimbos. They beat the South African side 3-2 to qualify for the Quarter-final behind Morocco.
The South Africans struck first via Vicky Mkhawana in the 6th minute, but his goal was cancelled in the 34th minute by Charles Agada. The South Africans took the lead again before the break, through Siyabonga Mabena.
Throwback to when Wilfred Ndidi visited Golden Eaglets camp to inspire Nigeria U-17 mens team players ahead of their AFCON 2023 campaign and reunited with boyhood coach Nduka Ugabade.
Man keeps up incredible impact on and off the pitch. pic.twitter.com/S5JG4DX3ax
— FAJ Sports (@FajSports) August 30, 2023
In the second half, the Nigeria Under 17 side made a strong response, with Light Eke scoring a minute into the half, while Abubakar Abdullahi scored the winning goal in the 65th minute.
After picking the ticket to the next round, many felt the Golden Eaglets would fly over the Burkinabes – a side they beat during qualification for the tournament.
However, it seemed the Burkinabe side had learned their lessons. They beat the Nigerian side 2-1 to pick a ticket to the FIFA Under 17 World Cup.
Two goals from Aboubacar Camara (45, 57 – Penalty) were enough to give them victory. A 67th-minute strike by Abubakar Abdullahi was nothing more than a consolation.
The FIFA U-17 World Cup – Indonesia 2023
The Nigerian side will not be part of the FIFA U-17 World Cup that kicks off in Indonesia on November 10 and runs through to December 2.
The tournament will not be with its most successful team, the Nigeria Under 17 team (five titles).
Burkina Faso, Mali, Morocco and Senegal are the African representatives.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 day ago