WAFU B U-17 – Burkina Faso and Golden Eaglets play out tense draw

The highly anticipated Group B opener of the U-17 WAFU B Tournament between Burkina Faso and Nigeria's Golden Eaglets concluded in a scoreless stalemate (0-0) on Thursday at the University Stadium.
This clash between the finalists of the previous edition lived up to the pre-match hype, showcasing a tight and defensively disciplined encounter.
Nigeria vs Burkina Faso
Photo by Pikin of God

First half promise fizzles

The opening 45 minutes offered glimpses of attacking prowess from both sides. Burkina Faso, buoyed by their home advantage, looked sharp in the early exchanges.

However, the Nigerian defence held firm, displaying impressive organization and closing down any space effectively.

The Golden Eaglets gradually found their footing and threatened on the counter-attack, with their pace and agility causing problems for the Burkina Faso backline.

Simon Cletus and Abdulmiuz Oladimeji were lively in attack but could not get their attempts on target with Oladimeji the chief culprit

However, neither team could convert their promising opportunities, and the score remained deadlocked at halftime.

Rain dampens second half spectacle

The second half took a dramatic turn as a torrential downpour transformed the pitch into a muddy mess. This significantly impacted the quality of play, as both teams struggled to keep possession and build attacks.

The previously fluid passing and movement gave way to a more direct and scrappy approach. Despite the challenging conditions, the Golden Eaglets displayed commendable fighting spirit, pushing hard for a winner in the closing stages.

Rapha Adams had a chance to put Nigeria ahead but hit his shot straight at the goalkeeper as the pitch became unplayable.

However, the Burkina Faso defense remained resolute, denying them any clear-cut chances.

With four minutes to go, visibility became poor and game was stopped as officials consulted with each other if the match could go on or be abandoned.

Nigeria vs Burkina Faso
Photo by Pikin of God

The officials decided to go ahead with the game in the conditions but no goal came as both sides settled for a point.

Key takeaways and what's next for Golden Eaglets

This opening encounter highlighted the defensive solidity of both Burkina Faso and Nigeria. The wet pitch played a crucial role in limiting attacking opportunities, ultimately leading to a goalless draw.

However, the result keeps both teams in contention for a top-two finish in Group B.

Looking ahead, Burkina Faso face Togo on Sunday 19 May, at 3:00 PM GMT.

Meanwhile, Nigeria will lock horns with Niger later that day at 6:00 PM GMT, with both matches taking place at the University Stadium.

These upcoming fixtures will be pivotal in determining the group's final standings and which teams progress to the knockout stages.

The Golden Eaglets are the reigning champions of the tournament

WAFU B U-17 – Burkina Faso and Golden Eaglets play out tense draw
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a veteran Nigerian sports journalist with over 20 years of experience covering the beautiful game across Africa. Andrew served as a Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 Men's National Team for three years, offering a unique perspective on the future stars of Nigerian football.

Beyond reporting, Andrew is a pioneer in sports graphics creation within Nigeria. His expertise extends to sports kit design, making him a true multi-faceted talent in the African sports landscape.

Andrew's experience is vast, with collaborations encompassing prestigious names like Kickoff, SuperSport, the NFF (Nigeria Football Federation), and the NPFL (Nigeria Professional Football League)