The FIFA Under-20 World Cup got underway for Nigeria’s Flying Eagles, as they came from behind to win 2-1 against Dominican Republic.
The game got off to a rather cagey affair, albeit fast-paced as both teams struggled to settle into the game and assert their authority.
During the struggle, Nigeria conceded a penalty, it was awarded after a VAR review.
Dominican Republic captain, Edison Azcona made no mistake from the spot as he sent Chijioke Aniagboso the wrong way.
But, the Flying Eagles reacted well and soon after eight minutes, were rewarded with an equalizer when Guillermo de Pena headed a long throw past his own goalkeeper.
The Flying Eagles continued to dominate as they settled into the match following the equalizer, and could have gotten more goals but for wastefulness in front of goal.
They came close after Jude Emmanuel tested the goalkeeper just inside the box with a curling effort that was only tipped over the cross bar by goalkeeper Xavier Valdez.
In the second half, Nigeria continued their business of being wasteful in front of goal, Jude Sunday saw a lot of ball in the final third, but offered no bite at all.
A few minutes later, Nigeria had the ball in the back of the net, but it was ruled out for offside as the team’s lack of coercion in the attack came to play again.
Three Nigerian attackers made an attempt to score the goal after a perfectly weighted pass was sent into the box but Sunday Jude who was offside interfered in the play even when the ball was favoured to fall to the feet of another.
A few moments later, in the 71st minute, a defensive error saw the Dominican right-back’s attempted pass to his own goalkeeper was intercepted by Samson Lawal would made no mistake slotting it past goalkeeper Xavier Valdez.
The Flying Eagles would continue to dominate and create a plethora of chances, only to be undone by the Players’hero complex.
Dominican Republic, however, did offer very little threat at that point, except from a rasping drive from 25 yards out that stung the palms of goalkeeper Aniagboso.
The Flying Eagles were able to see out the game and wrap up three points.
The team will keep an eye on Italy as they would face off against the European side in their second match of the campaign.