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Golden Eaglets whip hosts Niger Republic in African championship’s opening game

World champions Nigeria made an impressive start to their 2015 African Under-17 Championship campaign by winning the opening match against hosts Niger Republic 2-0 in Niamey on Sunday.

Nigeria’s line up during the FIFA U17 group F match between Sweden and Nigeria at Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium on October 22, 2013 in Al Ain, United Arab Emirates. (Photo FIFA)

According to a report on the CAF website, goals from Victor Osimhen after 18 minutes and team captain Kelechi Nwakali’s beautiful free-kick from outside the box gave them victory.

The entertaining match at the Stade Seyni Kountche saw the hosts going closer with Souradjou Alhassane just before the break, but he could not beat Nigerian goalkeeper Akpan Udoh. In the second half, the Nigeriens rallied to try and get back into the game with striker Ibrahim Issoufou the main threat.

But the Eaglets were resolute at the back and held on to collect the maximum points. They have now piled pressure on the debutant hosts who now face a ‘must-win’ clash against Zambia in their second Group A fixture.

The opening match was preceded by a colourful ceremony depicting Niger’s history, culture and song and traditions. It was attended by the host country’s President Mahamadou Issoufou, CAF president Issa Hayatou, CAF Executive Committee members and members of the competition’s Organising Committee.

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