Team captain Samson Okikiola Tijani led by example as his brace inspired Nigeria to a come-from-behind 4-2 win over Hungary in the opening match of the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup.
Tijani scored Nigeria’s first and last goals of the game – both from dead ball situations – but Manu Garba’s wards had to come from behind twice before sealing a largely deserved win over the Europeans.
Gyorgy Komaromi gave Hungary the lead inside the opening three minutes when he poked home at the far post to punish some slack defending but Tijani levelled for Nigeria from the penalty spot in the 20th minute after striker Wisdom Ubani was felled inside the box.
With Nigeria in the ascendancy, Hungary pounced once more through Samuel Major who finished home brilliantly in the 28th minute after another defensive error by the West Africans. Nigeria trailed at half time.
The second half’s resumption saw the Golden Eaglets continue to dominate proceedings although failing to create good chances until Garba sent on playmaker Akinkunmi Amoo after the hour mark.
We can make do with a left footer now Manu Garba. Either Akinkunmi Amoo or Ibraheem Jabar. Amoo should even be starting but I would prefer Jabaar now for width purposes.
— Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) October 26, 2019
Record winners Nigeria then levelled eleven minutes from time when defender Ibrahim Usman headed home Ibrahim Sa’ad’s corner kick with Hungary goalkeeper Kristjan Hegyi misjudging the flight of the ball.
Nigeria quickly went in front for the first time in the game one minute later when Oluwatimilehin Adeniyi headed home Amoo’s cross at the far post.
Tijani then made sure of the three points with a well struck free kick from 30 yards which went home through the aid of a deflection in the 85th minute.
Up next for Nigeria is a clash with Ecuador on Tuesday at the same venue, Olympic Stadium in Goiania and at the same time, 9pm Nigerian time.
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