A jaw-dropping moment of quality from Bernard Bulbwa settled a fiercely-contested 2015 Africa Under-20 football championship final between Nigeria and Senegal on Sunday as the Flying Eagles claimed their 7th U20 title with a 1-0 victory.
The hosts started the brighter of the two sides and almost got the first goal on six minutes but Joshua Enaholo’s great reflexes denied Malick Niang after a flowing Senegalese move.
Senegal were all over Nigeria in the opening moments of the game and almost scored the opener in the 12th minute but Enaholo was outstanding again, this time denying Niang a sure goal with an unconventional stop with his feet from point blank range. Three minutes later, the hosts came close again through El Malick Niang whose header just flew off target. The home fans were bouncing in the stands as the Young Teranga Lions looked to exact revenge on the Flying Eagles following their 1-3 defeat to the Nigerians in the opening game of the competition.
On 19 minutes, Bernard Bulbwa silenced the home support with a goal worthy of winning any game. The forward took a long pass with the outside of his right foot before hitting an unstoppable volley beyond the reach of a shell-shocked Senegalese goalkeeper. The two sides traded excellent opportunities all throughout the game but the Flying Eagles held out for a famous win. Nigeria will now compete in Group E of the 2015 Fifa under-20 World Cup alongside Brazil, North Korea and Hungary.
Group stages draw for 2015 U-20 World Cup
Group A: New Zealand, Ukraine, USA, Myanmar
Group B: Argentina, Panama, Ghana, Austria
Group C: Qatar, Colombia, Portugal, Mali
Group D: Mexico, Senegal, Uruguay, Serbia
Group E: Nigeria, Brazil, Korea DPR, Hungary
Group F: Germany, Fiji, Uzbekistan, Honduras