FIFA U17 World Cup defending champions, Nigeria started their campaign for the CAF U-17 Africa Cup of Nations Madagascar 2017 with a narrow 1-0 win against Junior Menas of Niger Republic at the Abuja National Stadium on Saturday.
Nigeria took the lead as early as the second minute by Usman Musa (Babalolo) following a pass from Nazifi Yahaya. But thereafter, it became a ding-dong affair with few chances in between throughout the end of the first half.
The second stanza produced no goal either as the Nigeriens defended in
their numbers but Coach Manu Garba is yet upbeat about the second leg which takes place in Niamey in a fortnight, adding that Nigeria as defending world champions would leave no stone unturned to progress to the next round.
“It was a difficult game but we thank God we won and by the grace of God, we are going to win in Niger,” Garba said afterwards.
“Our expectations were high after we scored an early goal but we wasted a lot of chances thereafter. We have noticed our errors and we will correct them before the second leg; we just want Nigerians to be prayerful for these boys, we are going to qualify,” he noted.