Cup holders Nigeria, Thursday, lost 1-0 to Sudan in an U23 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match at the Al-Merrikh Stadium in Omdurman.
The home team scored on the dot of 45 minutes as the Nigeria defence faltered from a counter attack. Stephen Odey, Blessing Muyiwa and Taiwo Awoniyi all had chances to put Nigeria on the scoreline even before then but the final product was blunt.
Odey fluffed gilt-edged opportunities in the 17th and 48th minutes that would have handed Nigeria the advantage.
Instead, the 1996 Olympics men’s football tournament winners must overturn a deficit and then look for the winner when both teams clash in the return and final leg of the qualifying series in Asaba on Tuesday.
Nigeria won the second edition of the Africa U23 Cup of Nations hosted by Senegal in December 2015, beating Algeria in the final.
The third edition of the U23 Africa Cup of Nations will be staged by Egypt 8th – 22nd November this year.