Nigeria beat the host nation Senegal 1-0 on Sunday night in Dakar to win a seventh CAF African Youth Championship.
The Nigerian side went into the lead after 18 minutes when Bernard Bulbwa strike a fantastic volley from the edge of the danger area to confirm their status as the most successful country in the history of the biennial championship. Nigeria’s other previous titles were in 1983, 1985, 1987, 1989, 2005 and 2011.
Seeking to avenge the 3-1 loss in the tournament opener, it was Senegal who got off well making their intent clear as early as the tenth minute. However, Nigeria goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo proved up to the task denying El Hadji Niang in a one-on-one situation.
One of the usual long searching passes of the Nigerians lead to the opener on 19 minutes. Midfielder Bulbwa trapped the ball nicely before delivering a spectacular thunderbolt that caught Senegal goalie Ibrahim Sy amazed and silence the deafening crowd at the stadium.
Both teams started the game brightly but after some time, Senegal stepped up the pressure.
First, Sidy Sarr threatened the Nigerian goal in the 20th minute and in the 35th minute, Moussa Kone shot from the edge of the box, but he missed the target.
Five minutes before the break, the Senegalese were again unlucky as a corner by Moussa Kone was met by a header lanky defender Mouhameth Sane hit the post and the Nigerian defence caught the ball cleared.
Senegal resumed 2nd half with the same tempo and few minutes into the game were denied by Nigeria goalie Enaholo who palmed away Niang’s goal-bound drive to a thunderous applause from the pockets of Nigeria fans at the stadium. Whilst the Senegalese had the upperhand in terms of possession it was the Nigerians who looked dangerous on the play.
Midway through the half, the Senegalese kept the Nigerian defence boiling with Sarr and substitute Alassane Sow leading the raids upfront.
Three minutes to ending time, goalkeeper Sy rescued his side with a superb save from a power-laden effort by Ifeanyi Matthew
After failing to make their dominance count, the Flying Eagles held on to achieve a record extending seventh title in the biennial tournament.