Many are of the opinion that the U17 team of Nigeria sealed their spot at the World Youth Championship following their 1-0 win over Angola but that isn’t the case after Uganda thrash host Tanzania 3-0.
Although Nigeria is still favorite to go through before the last round of game where they will take on Uganda, the Golden Eaglet of Nigeria need to however avoid defeat to avoid defeat to seal their spot in the semi-final and also the World Youth Championship.
Even if they lose, they could still qualify if Tanzania pick up a draw or beat Angola in their final group game which will be played simultaneously with that of Nigeria on Saturday.
Here is why Nigeria can’t celebrate qualifying for the semi-final and also the World Youth Championship.
There is every chance of three teams finishing on six points, in which case the result picked up against Tanzania will be rendered inconsequential base on the head to head rule, which is the tie breaker in the group stage of the tournament.
If that happens, it will mean all three teams (Nigeria, Angola and Uganda) have three points which will now narrow down to who has the best goal difference before determining the team that will progress.
For emphasis sake if Nigeria lose 2-0 to Uganda or by a two goal margin and Angila beats Tanzania, Nigeria will not be going to the FIFA U17 World Youth Championship. It means all three teams will finish on six points and would have three points in the head to head tie breaker mini-league but Nigeria will lose out on goal difference.
Uganda will be on +1 goal difference if the above happens while a 1-0 win for Angola over Tanzania will see them have a goal difference of 0, while that of Nigeria will be -1.
That said it looks almost impossible for the above to happen but the Golden Eaglet shouldn’t celebrate yet because anything is possible in football. The idea is to avoid defeat against Uganda and finish as group winners and also qualify for the World Youth Championship. It’s all in their hands.
Mohammed Mowiz Suleman