The Nigeria cadet handball team competing in the IHF World Youth Championship were narrowly beaten 37-34 by hosts Macedonia on Thursday to record a second successive defeat in their debut at the tournament.
Following a less than impressive display in their tournament opening loss to Bahrain, head coach Emeka Nnamani had vowed that his side would put up a much-improved showing against the hosts who are also making a first-ever appearance at the tournament.
Nigeria’s showing matched the pre-game promise of their coach as they put up a vastly improved display with line player Ebinatei Kiripoimini Ekpodio particularly impressive as he top-scored for Nigeria with 11 goals.
Back by a vociferous crowd, Macedonia proved resilient and ultimately prevailed against the gallant Nigerians with Martin Serafimov and Nenad Kosteski finishing with 10 and 13 goals respectively for the hosts.
Nigeria must now secure a victory today against Denmark to keep their hopes of progressing to the next round alive.