Nigeria’s Flying Eagles yester­day booked a ticket to next year’s Africa Youth Championship billed for Senegal after they walked over Lesotho in Kaduna.
Match officials in­sisted till the last minute that they did not receive any official notifica­tion that the first leg final qualifier had been called off after Lesotho expressed concerns over the outbreak of Ebola virus disease in Nigeria.
They, therefore, went through the traditional walkover ceremony that involved a 15-minute wait after the referee’s kick-off whistle.
In the absence of Lesotho, the Flying Eagles thrashed Kaduna United team B 6-0 in a test game at the Ahmadu Bello Stadium in Kaduna, on Saturday.
Skipper Musa Muhammed and Sulaiman Abdullahi scored a brace each with Taiwo Awoniyi and Ifeanyi Matthew also getting on the score sheet.
Early in the game Awoniyi and Alhassan ‘Muazam’ Ibrahim failed to convert clear chances to put the Flying Eagles ahead. Later, Abdullahi Alfa’s ferrocious shot in the 18th minute crashed against the crossbar, before Musa Mohammed converted a 21st minute penalty after goal-bound Awoniyi was felled inside the box.
Muhammed doubled the lead seven minutes later when he cut through from the right flank before he fired home a tight angle. In the 31st minute, Awoniyi rounded the Kaduna United team B goalkeeper to make it 3-0. And eight minutes later, Ifeanyi Matthew slotted home another spot kick after Awoniyi was brought down and the goalkeeper was sent off.
Substitute striker Sulaiman Abdullahi scored twice in the 49th and 86th minutes after the Flying Eagles wasted numerous chances.
Nigeria will join host, Sen­egal and seven other countries that will emerge as winners after the conclusion of the second leg games scheduled between 29th and 31st August, 2014 for the 2015 African Youth Championship next year.
Super Eagles interim manager will be chosen under the leadership of Alhaji Aminu Maigari who is billed to resume office today, as announced by the sports minister Dr. Tammy Danagogo in a joint press conference on Friday in Abuja, after the world football governing body, FIFA overruled his purported impeachment of July 25.
NFF president will set the machinery in place to get another Nigerian to stand in until a decision is taken on Stephen Keshi’s second term as the Super Eagles coach.
Keshi’s contract negotiation could not be concluded after he rejected the current salary of N5m offered by NFF, and demanded N15m.
The federation has offered him a long-term four-year contract for easier planning, but he prefers a short term one year contract with a renewal option.
NFF plans to appoint an interim coach before the end of this week to execute the crucial AFCON qualifier next month and also call up the players for the game before proceeding with Keshi’s contract negotiation later.
Meanwhile, Confederation African Football replaced Rwanda with Congo on Sunday following their disqualification for using an ineligible player.
Nigeria will open their qualifying campaign
against Congo on saturday, september 6 at the U.J Esuene stadium, calabar.
Defending champion, Nigeria are in group A alongside Sudan, South Africa and now Congo.

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