TotalEnergies U17 AFCON: Lawali ‘Heartbroken’ Over Morocco Loss

By: Gyang Dakwo

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

Speaking during a post-match press conference, the defender said: “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.”

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 with 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.