Nigeria faded after a strong start to fall to a 36-28 defeat against Bahrain on Tuesday at the IHF World Youth Championship holding in Macedonia.
Bahrain were never behind in the whole match as Nigeria, making their debut in IHF World Youth Championship, kept in touch for majority of the encounter.
The Africans however, fell off in the last quarter of the match as Bahrain increased their lead to 10 goals in the final moments (35:25) before two late Nigerian goals made the scoreline a little bit more respectable.
Ibrahim Dikko was the one shining light for Nigeria’s cadet team and constantly troubled the opposition but Mohamed Mohamed was in scintillating form for Bahrain and finished with 13 goals in the match to ensured that Asian side led 17-13 at half time.
The second half carried on in much the same fashion with Bahrain holding Nigeria who had an almighty scare when the influential Dikko appeared to hurt his shoulder towards the end of the game, at arm’s length to emerge victorious at the Boris Trajkovski Arena, Skopje, Macedonia.
Nigeria’s coach Emeka Nnamani excoriated his team’s performance and promised to ring the changes for the next match against hosts, Macedonia on Thursday.
I am not satisfied with this match,” said Nnanami said. “We played bad in attack, plus they are good team; however it’s our first match and I am sure that we’ll do better.”