Sudan U20s stun Nigeria to qualify for Zambia 2017

Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen, top scorer at the 2015 Under-17 World Cup, could not prevent Nigeria from losing to Sudan

Sudan shocked Nigeria to book their place at next year's Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations, eliminating the defending champions on away goals.

Trailing 2-1 from the first leg, Sudan pulled off a stunning 4-3 victory in Lagos - despite having Walaadihh Musa sent off on the hour mark.

Nigeria, who had 15 members of the 2015 Under-17 World Cup-winning side in their squad, had been huge favourites.

But Sudan are among seven teams to join hosts Zambia at the finals next year.

The top four sides at the African tournament will qualify for the Under-20 World Cup in South Korea in 2017.

Qualifiers for Under-20 Africa Cup of Nations
Zambia (hosts)Mali
EgyptSouth Africa

Nigeria have enjoyed much success in youth competitions, both in Africa and globally.

They were expected to finish the job at home having earned a one-goal lead from the first leg and boasting a squad that included the likes of Victor Osimhen (pictured), the top scorer from the Under-17 World Cup in Chile.

And they got off to a great start, despite a heavy downpour and wet conditions, when Samuel Chukwueze put the hosts ahead after 15 minutes to make it 1-0 on the day.

Six minutes later, Sudan equalised through Amghd Ahmed but Nigeria again went in front when Bamgboye followed up a cross from Chukwueze and tapped in to make it 2-1.

But Sudan's dogged determination helped them equalise again through Halid Abdamuleem to make it 2-2 at the break, 4-3 to Nigeria on aggregate.

With the pressure mounting on Nigeria, Sudan took advantage and stunned the hosts with a goal after 56 minutes from Musa to make it 3-2 to Sudan and 4-4 overall.

Just five minutes later, the goal-scorer Musa was sent off for dissent.

Nigeria took advantage immediately with Orji Okonkwo scoring after 67 minutes to make it 3-3 on the day. But still Sudan ploughed on despite being down to 10 men and losing 5-4 on aggregate.

Their reward came seven minutes from time when Halid Abdamuleem scored a shock winner for Sudan, his second of the game.

Nigeria were unable to respond, with Sudan holding on to win 4-3 and progress on away goals.

Nigeria had already endured a torrid week after the players threatened to boycott the game due to unpaid allowances and poor treatment.

It took the late intervention of Nigeria Football Federation vice president Seyi Akinwunmi to avert the crisis, with him donating $17,000 to the team.

Another country missing from the finals in Zambia 2017 will be Ghana who fell to a 3-2 aggregate defeat to Senegal on Friday.

Ghana are the only African team to have won the Under-20 World Cup, lifting the trophy in 2009 with a penalties victory over Brazil in the final in Egypt.

However, Senegal's 3-1 advantage from the first leg in Dakar proved decisive, with Ghana failing to claw back the deficit.

Ghana gave the home fans some hope when they went 1-0 up, but Senegal's dogged defence stopped them from adding to the tally, with Senegal becoming the first side to join the hosts Zambia at next year's finals.

South Africa will also be at the finals after a 3-0 win over Lesotho on Saturday, winning 5-0 on aggregate.

Goals from Liam Jordan, Sibongakonke Mbatha and Sidney Mtshweni gave Amajita a comfortable victory.

Also on Saturday, Egypt won 4-0 away to Angola to book their place in Zambia. The victory gave Egypt a 5-0 aggregate win.

On Sunday, Guinea booked their place with a 2-1 win over The Gambia, going through by the same scoreline on aggregate after a goalless draw in the first leg.

Mali joined them at the finals by making home advantage pay to beat Burkina Faso 2-0 - again the sides had played out a 0-0 stalemate in the first match.

And Cameroon were able to absorb a 1-0 defeat by Libya - a game which is being played in Tunisia on security grounds - to qualify for Zambia, having earned a 3-0 win in the first leg.

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