Nigeria’s Flying Eagles began their quest to qualify for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Indonesia on a disappointing note with a 1-0 defeat against Senegal at the Cairo International stadium, Egypt, Abbeylivenetwork.com reports.
The Eagles finished the game with 10 men after a late red card handed to striker, Ahmed, Abdullahi for a terrible foul.
The game between Senegal and Nigeria saw little or no chances created between both sides that were meeting first time since the final of the 2015 tournament which Nigeria won.
Senegal came off winners this time around as a quick counterattack in the 40th minute, ended with Souleymane Faye tapping in from close range into the roof of the Flying Eagles’ net.
Ladan Bosso’s side failed to threaten the Senegalese goalkeeper, Landing Badji for the majority of the game.
Influential defensive midfielder, Daniel Daga was replaced after sustaining a knee injury which could impact on his further participation at the tournament.
The Eagles recorded no shots on target in the first half.
Senegal were the better side collectively albeit the Nigerians showed some flashes of individual brilliance.
Two substitutions were carried by Nigeria’s coach Ladan Bosso in the second half as the duo of Ibrahim Muhammad and Rilwan Sarki went off for Emmanuel Uchegbu and Jude Sunday.
Benjamin Frederick who had been impressive in central defence, headed the ball out for corner kick in the 65th minute before the Senegalese could cause further harm.
Flying Eagles captain Daniel Bamaiyi received a yellow card soon afterwards for a cynical tackle on a Senegalese forward who bore down on goal.
Nigeria’s first shot on target came in the 88th minute from a long range shot fired by Onuche Ogbelu but comfortably saved by Landing Badji.
The lack of communication noticeable among the Nigerians almost caused them a second goal as goalkeeper Nathaniel Nwosu and Benjamin Frederick got on each other’s ways but thankfully the ball was cleared.
Libasse Ngom almost made it 2-0 for Senegal when he rounded goalkeeper, Nwosu but his eventual shot came off the cross bar as two defenders frantically ran onto the goal line to clear the ball.
Abdullahi was handed his second yellow card in added tone for terrible clearance that saw his boot high and hurting an opponent.
Super Eagles will take on hosts Egypt in their next game on Wednesday.