Nigeria U-15 boys defeated Swaziland 2-1 to secure the emerge champions in the football event at the 2014 Africa Youth Games (AYG) in Gaborone, Botswana.
The national age-grade team who only required a draw had goals from Nasifi Yahaya, Ali Musa and Young Elisha enough to topple their Southern African opponent to win the round-rubbing tournament finishing atop of the six-team table with 10 points.
In the second and third at the end of the competition were Tanzania and Mali, who picked up the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Nigeria did not just win the gold medal, they only conceded just once and scored ten times in five matches without defeat despite only training one month to this year’s edition of the Africa Youth Games.
The team against its earlier four opponents, defeated host Botswana 2-0 in their first game, drew 0-0 with Mali, humbled South Africa 3-0 and defeated Tanzania 2-0 in the football tournament.
The six participating teams left to participate in the football event of the African Youth Games, Nigeria, Botswana, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, and Mali following the late withdrawals from DR Congo and Gabon.
The coach of the team, Danladi Nasidi attributed the success to the one month camping exercise which they enjoyed before the tournament.
“I’m a happy man today and I must say the one month camping exercise we had in Abuja before the tournament really helped us.”
According to the tournament format, all six teams that participated in the football event engaged each other in a round-robin format, the best placed team on the table went home with the gold medal while the second and third placed teams won silver and bronze respectively.
The 2nd African Youth Games climaxes on Saturday, the event involves around 2,500 athletes from 54 countries for ten days of competition.
Athletes are competing across 21 sports – athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, canoeing, cycling, fencing, football, golf, judo, karate, netball, rowing, rugby, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, tennis, triathlon, volleyball and weightlifting.
Aimed at athletes aged 14 to 18, the Games tries to offer African athletes a platform to prepare for the Youth Olympic Games.