Nigeria won’t be at the 2020 Championships for African Nations (CHAN) after the Super Eagles B team failed to overturn a 4-1 defeat to the Sparrow Hawks of Togo at the Agege Stadium, in Lagos on Saturday.
The second leg in Lagos ended 2-0 in favour of the Super Eagles B courtesy of a Sikiru Alimi brace but Nigeria lose 3-4 on aggregate to crash out and leave head coach Imama Amapakabo with plenty questions to answer.
Amapakabo has forged a reputation for overturning difficult first leg results but the 4-1 loss to the Sparrow Hawks proved a mountain too high for him and his side.
Alimi’s opener in the ninth minute threatened to unleash the floodgates and he could have had a hat trick after shooting straight at the goalkeeper when clean through and seeing another effort cleared off the line in a first half completely dominated by Nigeria.
While Togo were happy to sit back in the first half, they showed more enterprise in the second although they couldn’t fashion any chances.
Instead, it was the Super Eagles B who threatened with Ndifreke Effiong and Sunusi Ibrahim missing gilt-edged chances.
Alimi scored again in the 71st minute to give Nigeria hope and although the Super Eagles B applied relentless pressure and were afforded 10 additional minutes to find the goal that would pave their way to Cameroon, the Sparrow Hawks held firm to book their passage instead and leave Amapakabo in an uncomfortable position.
The Agege Stadium has now played host to the second-leg match of two national teams which failed to progress to tournaments after the Super Falcons saw their Olympics hopes crushed by Cote d’Ivoire last month.