Dar es Salaam - Nigeria’s Flying Eagles got off to a bright start in the 2015 African Youth Championship 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, Tanzania’s worst fears came to be as Musa Yahaya slotted past the goalkeeper from the near post after a low cross by skipper Musa Muhammed.
Kelechi Iheanacho, who replaced Alhassan Ibrahim ‘Mu-azam’ 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 he slotted past the onrushing goalkeeper.
The home team created several openings late on to at least reduce the tally, but Abdallah Kheri and Juma Liuzio both failed to find target from inside the 18-yard box.
Flying Eagles vs Tanzania
Joshua Enaholo – Musa Muhammed (skipper), Mustapha Abdullahi, Wilfred Ndidi, Izu Omego – Akinjide Idowu, Ifeanyi Matthew, Abdullahi Alfa, Musa Yahaya (Chidiebere Nwakali 74) – Alhassan Ibrahim ‘Mu-azam’ (Kelechi Iheanacho 46), Taiwo Awoniyi.
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