The Flying Eagles of Nigeria on Wednesday defeated the Young Pharaohs of Egypt 1- 0, to record their first triumph at the ongoingU-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Solomon Agbalaka scored the lone goal through a header to give the seven-time champions the important required triumph, and get their campaign on track.
After losing their opening match at the competition to Senegal, Nigeria knew they couldn’t afford to stumble against Egypt on matchday two.
But the Young Pharaohs were similarly desperate for a victory after managing a disappointing goalless draw with Mozambique in the competition opener.
And the Egyptians were the team on the frontal foot for most of the encounter, asking questions of the Nigerian defence time and again.
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After a cagey first half where only one shot on target was recorded, Egypt came out smoking in the alternate half with a frequent surge of attack.
But Nigeria will have goalkeeper Chijioke Aniagboso to thank for keeping the Flying Eagles in the game, with the youngster making at least two point-blank saves when it appeared certain that Egypt would score.
Eventually, Coach Ladan Bosso’s boys made the Young Pharaohs pay for their missed chances with the sucker punch.
It arrived in the 73rd minute after left-back Agbalaka met the ball floated from a corner kick with a smashing header that was in the net before the Egyptian goalie knew what was happening.
With Senegal registering a 3-0 victory over Mozambique in the other Group A match, Nigeria move from last to second with three points.
The Flying Eagles will advance to the quarterfinals should they avoid a defeat against Mozambique in their last group game on Saturday.