The West Africans had to do it the hard way but they grabbed the three points at stake at the end. Nigeria’s Flying Eagles showed their mettle in the opening game of their 2023 FIFA U20 World Cup campaign against the Dominican Republic, coming from a goal down to clinch a 2-1 victory at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza.
The two-time finalists at this tournament were expected to win against the Dominican Republic, who were making their debut at the World Youth Championships. However, the CONCACAF representatives had other plans and drew first blood through a penalty converted by Edison Azcona in the 23rd minute.
The Flying Eagles responded positively and controlled the game from then on, with the introduction of substitute Musa Yahaya sparking life into the team. Yahaya’s impact was immediate as he fired in a stunning equalizer from outside the box in the 62nd minute.
Nigeria continued to pile on the pressure and were rewarded with a penalty in the 84th minute, which was calmly converted by Tijani Mohammed to give his side a crucial victory in their opening game.
Although the Flying Eagles had to come from behind to secure all three points, they showed their resilience and character to bounce back and claim a vital win. The victory puts them in a strong position in their group, which also includes Brazil and Wales.
Nigeria will take on Wales in their next game on May 30th, and the Flying Eagles will be hoping to build on their winning start to the tournament. With their never-say-die attitude, they will surely be a force to reckon with in the competition.