ORJI OKONKWO RESCUES FLYING EAGLES FROM DEFEAT AGAINST UNICEM ROVERS

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Flying Eagles forward Orji Okonkwo scored at the very end of a pulsating friendly with Nigeria National League (NNL) side Unicem Rovers to help preserve the unbeaten run of the Nigeria U-20s.

The team under the tutelage of U-17 World Cup winning coach Emmanuel Amuneke have been unbeaten since the start of camping for the 2017 Africa Youth Championship qualifiers but that run was heavily threatened by a determined Unicem Rovers team.

Coach Amuneke rested captain Kelechi Nwakali and had to pull out influential midfielder Kingsley Michael and top central defender defender Ejike Ikwu to keep them fresh for the team’s tie against Burundi on Sunday.

The NNL side took a first half lead in the 41st minute and were almost coasting away with a victory before Orji struck at the death to keep his team morale intact ahead of their second leg tie against Burundi.

Nigeria U-20s won the first leg tie 1-0 away in Bujumbura and this Sunday will defend that score in Calabar in order to qualify for the next round of qualifiers where Sudan lies in wait.

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*Ahmed Ishaya