The Flying Eagles were defeated by Senegal in their opening match of the CAF U20AFCON in Egypt on Sunday, courtesy of a brilliant first half lone strike.
The fixture, played at the Cairo International Stadium, was quite cagey and physical in its opening exchanges, as chances were difficult to come by.
When Ladan Bosso’s men were beginning to get their rhythm, the Junior Teranga Lions were equally getting better and created a few chances to score and in the 40th minute of the game, via a quick counterattack, Souleymane Faye slammed the ball into the roof of the Flying Eagles’ net to hand his side the lead.
Le but inscrit par Souleymane Faye en vidéo 🎥
- Advertisement -
Sénégal 🇸🇳 1-0 Nigeria 🇳🇬 #TotalEnergiesAFCONU20
— 𝗝𝗼𝘂𝗲𝘂𝗿𝘀 𝗦𝗲́𝗻𝗲́𝗴𝗮𝗹𝗮𝗶𝘀 🇸🇳 (@JoueursSN) February 19, 2023
While their West African counterparts stayed true to their game plan, the Nigerian side were jittery, losing the ball casually and quite underwhelming for large periods of the game. It was even until the 87th minute before they could manage to test goalkeeper Landing Badji and the attempt was not enough to beat him.
Deep into stoppage time, things went from bad to worse for the Flying Eagles as Ahmed Abdullahi, who had only come on for Adams Olamilekan, received his marching orders following a second bookable offence.
This opening game loss leaves Nigeria bottom of Group A, following a goalless draw in the opening fixture between hosts, Egypt and Mozambique.
Although the Flying Eagles were defeated by Senegal, the boys must now put the disappointment behind them and focus on the next game which is a must-win game against the hosts, Egypt on Wednesday to keep their tournament hopes alive.
Meanwhile, the four semi-finalists in Egypt will fly the flag of Africa at the U20 World Cup tournament billed for Indonesia later this year.