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Man-of-the-Match, Nigeria’s Lawali ‘heartbroken’ with Morocco loss



Despite being named the Man of the Match for the second consecutive game, Nigeria fullback Yahaya Lawali was dejected as his side were on the losing end, suffering a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Morocco in their second Group B match of the U17 Africa Cup of Nations.

The defeat for the Golden Eaglets now means they must win their final match of the group against South Africa to battle for the only available automatic qualification slot into the quarter finals.

“I have mixed feelings being named man of the match. It is a good thing for me but as a team we are sad that we lost the match today. It was a critical game for us and it is heartbreaking to lose,” the defender stated.

He added; “I dedicate this award to my teammates and urge them that it is not the end. Some days are like this, you do everything but can’t win.”

The defender said they paid the price for not using their chances.


Nigeria had 27 shots, only four of them on target and none ending in the back of the net.

“We are heartbroken that we couldn’t take our chances, but we are sure to do better in our next match. We will work to ensure we are better and more efficient with scoring,” said Lawali.

Nigeria will face South Africa in their final group match on Saturday.

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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