Nigeria’s U-20 national team, the Flying Eagles, on Thursday edged Uganda 1-0 in the quarter-final of the ongoing U-20 AFCON in Egypt to book a place in the semi-final of the competition and also qualified for the 2023 FIFA World Cup.

The World Cup will take place in Indonesia between May 20 and June 11.

An own goal from Uganda defender Ibrahim Juma before the end of the first half saw the Ladan Bosso-led side emerge winners in a keenly contested tie at the 22,000-capacity Suez Canal Authority Stadium in Ismailia, Egypt.

Having recovered from their opening match loss to Senegal, the Ladan Bosso-led boys were condemned to win against The Hippos of Uganda who came into the fixture unbeaten.

Without first-choice defender and captain Daniel Bamiyi, Bosso handed the captain band to standout goalkeeper Chijoke Aniagboso with Sweden-based Abel Ogwuche replacing the skipper as he partnered Benjamin Fredrick.

The Flying Eagles took control of the game from the kickoff and had a larger possession of the ball and almost opened the scoring just three minutes into the encounter.

The first chance of the game fell to Ibrahim Muhammad but his fierce shot was deflected and eventually cleared as Nigeria were denied the chance to open the scoring with less than five minutes on the clock.

However, Uganda almost took the lead as Ivan Irinimbabazi saw his powerful header from a corner kick saved by Nigeria’s goalkeeper, Chijioke Aniagboso in the 8th minute.

The threat spurred the Flying Eagles back to life as they began to string passes but were wasteful with their final pass in front of the goal.

The breakthrough did arrive half an hour into the game when Ibrahim Beji’s firm shot came back of the post after it had beaten the Ugandan goalkeeper and ricocheted off the feet of left-back, who turned it into his own net to make it 1-0 to Nigeria.

The Flying Eagles went out in search of the second goal to kill off the but were unable to find the back of the net.

The East Africans began the second half the better side as they look to equalise but were lackluster in front of goal failing to punish the Flying Eagles for their many mistakes.

Rogers Mugisha and John Dembe tried to find a late equaliser but Aniagboso held his own as he kept his third straight clean sheet to lead the Flying Eagles to the semifinals.

The result means that Nigeria will be making its 14th appearance on the World stage and have joined Senegal, who defeated Benin Republic 1-0 to also seal a ticket to Indonesia.

Nigeria will face the winner between South Sudan and the Gambia who play on Friday evening.

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