The rise of the Nigerian U17 team to the final of the ongoing WAFU B African U17 Nations Cup Qualifiers took a lot of people by surprise considering that the manner which they lost their first game of the tournament.
Their recovery from that first loss showed the character in the team while the way they have gone on to win their subsequent games showed the amount of talents in the coach Manu Garba tutored side.
Owngoalnigeria.com tracked the team right from their screening and later camp in Abuja before the selection for the tournament was made by the technical crew.
Here are some of the talents we have identified in the team.
Olakunle Olusegun – The star of the entire tournament by a mile and presently the top scorer of the tournament. A lot has been said about him, he however need to be very selective in his next career step as he has shown enough to earn the tag of the next big thing.
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Akinkumi Amoo – Plays a bit like Samuel Chukwueze of Villarreal, who also represented Nigeria at this level before making the step up. The left footed forward has impressed with his abilities on the ball, his positional sense and his finishing with two goals to his name.
Ibrahim Mohammed – A left full back who joins the attack perfectly aside his ability to keep his man quiet. A modern day wing back in the making and the way he supplied the cross for Nigeria’s first goal against Niger Republic in the semi-final showed his decisiveness in the box.
Babatunde Akinsola – Dribbles with ease and his step overs usually leaves his markers in their wake. Yet to get among the goals for the Nigerian team but he is also in the list of the most important players for the team. The left winger has got a sweet left foot.
Samson Tijani – The captain and commander of the team. Breaks up play and sets up attacks with ease. A typical box to box midfielder, who is also deadly from set piece. The heart and soul of this team as his all action play shields the defence and also supports the attack.
Hassan Hussain – The big number 10 is not scared of taking risk with the ball at his feet and fights hard to win and also recover possession for his team. He has weigh in with his own fair share of goals aside picking up three assists. Certainly one to watch in the future.