Five-time world champions, Golden Eaglets of Nigeria began their campaign at the UEFA/CAF U17 Tournament by condemning hosts Turkey to a 2-0 defeat courtesy of goals from Olakunle Olusegun and Divine Nwachukwu either side of half time.
It was an explosive encounter from the blast of the whistle as Turkey tried to unsettle their Nigerian counterparts at the early stage of the game, but the Eaglets stood firm and thereafter asserted their presence with their smooth brand of football which yielded fruit when Olakunle Olusegun found the back of the net in the 10th minute.
The goal gave the Eaglets confidence as they dominanted posssesion with scintillating passes and continous bombardment of their opponents’ vital area for more goals, but the scoreline remained 1-0 at the break.
Turkey tried to fight back on after the break but met strong resistance in the defence of the Eaglets and just as it happened in the first half, the Nigerian teenagers enforced their superior quality as they controlled the game, creating more goal-scoring opportunities, but failed to increase the tally.
However, the pressure told on the defence of Turkey as it caved in to concede an infringement in the box. The resultant penalty was converted by Divine Nwachukwu.
Head Coach of the Eaglets Manu Garba said the scoreline belied what was a difficult encounter for his team and asserted that improvements are needed ahead of Nigeria’s next game.
“It was not an easy game. We played against a very good side and it is a relief that we won. I’m certain that the team will continue to improve in the tournament.” he told thenff.com.
Nigeria come up next against Guatemala on Tuesday.