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U-20 World Cup: Flying Eagles come from behind to edge Dominican Republic in opener

Ladan Bosso's boys claim first three points of the tournament

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles picked up a comeback win to defeat Dominican Republic in their Group D opener at the 2023 U-20 World Cup in Mendoza. The Flying Eagles claimed a 2-1 win over their counterparts to enter into the driving seat in the group.

After a win and a draw in their pre-tournament friendlies, the Flying Eagles were up against the Carribean debutants in their group stage opener.

Nigeria controlled the match from the first blast of the whistle but failed to create quality openings and break down the Dominican backline.

The minnows took the lead against the run of play in the 23rd minute when Inter Miami midfielder Edison Azcona sent Chijioke Aniagboso the wrong way from the penalty spot after the VAR awarded them a penalty.

The Flying Eagles upped their tempo in the match as Jude Sunday, Ibrahim Muhammad, and Lawal Salim Fago threatened the Dominican defence. Nigeria were gifted an equaliser one minute after the half-hour mark when a long throw-in from captain Daniel Bameyi was headed by Guillermo De Pena past his own goalkeeper.

Sunday forced the Dominican goalkeeper into a number of good saves as the half came to its end with Nigeria in the driving seat.

Nigeria emerged for the second half in the same manner they ended the first as they looked to punish their opposition. The Flying Eagles had the ball in the back of the net shortly into the half through the impressive Sunday, only for the assistant referee’s flag to deny the youngster his goal.

In the 70th minute, the Flying Eagles finally got themselves ahead for the first time in the game when Samson Lawal capitalised on a defensive act of generosity to slot an effort past the goalkeeper.

Nigeria dominated the remaining minutes of the match, with the Dominican goalkeeper pulling off a number of quality saves to keep the scoreline respectable.

The Flying Eagles have now picked up three points and would face Italy in their next game on Wednesday.



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