Nigeria qualified for the 2019 Under-20 AFCON after an impressive 5-0 win over Mauritania on Saturday in Lagos to advance to 6-1 aggregate.
Both sides had settled for a 1-1 draw in their first meeting in Nouakchott last week but the Nigerians, record seven-time winners, showed their supremacy against the visitors on a wet afternoon at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.
Victory against Mauritania guarantees Nigeria a return to the continental youth showpiece event after missing out on the last edition held last year in Zambia.
Nigeria’s Flying Eagles were clearly the better side and they took off on a bright note with an early goal in the 12th minute through striker Wasiu Alalade who fired from inside the box past goalkeeper Amadou Fall.
The host grew in confidence, but striker Ibrahim Abubakar who scored the team’s lone goal in Nouakchott and Captain Ikouwem Utin missed opportunities to increase the lead.
But striker Afeez Aremu followed up with a brace with his first goal coming in the 32nd minute, and heading home from a corner four minutes after recess.
Midfielder Aniekeme Okon Asuquo scored the fourth goal in the 67th minute before Solomon Onome completed the rout by converting a stoppage time penalty, after Asuquo was fouled by his marker.
Nigeria join Burundi, Burkina Faso, Mali, South Africa and Senegal for the final tournament scheduled for February 2-17, 2019 in Niger.
Saturday, 21 July 2018
Nigeria 5-0 Mauritania (1-1)
Gabon 0-1 Burkina Faso (1-3)
Malawi 0-2 South Africa (0-0)
Senegal 4-1 Congo (2-2)
Sunday, 22 July 2018
Burundi 3-0 Zambia (0-1)
Mali 3-0 Cameroon (1-1)
*Ghana vs Benin
(1st leg: 4 August 2018; 2nd leg: 10-12 August 2018)