A profligate Nigeria’s Under-23 Olympic Eagles lost 1-0 to their Sudanese counterparts in the first leg, first round of their Africa U-23 Cup of Nations qualifier inside the Al Merreikh Stadium in Omdurman last night.
The squad parade by Coach Imama Amapakabo had every reason to kill the game early with enough goals to make the second leg a mere novelty.
Instead, the duo of Taiwo Awoniyi and Stephen Odey opted to waste all the chances they had to bury the game.
Others like Muyiwa Olabiran, Sunday Faleye and Nda Olisa equally played part in the 1-0 defeat of Nigeria as they have nothing to show for the Olympic Eagles domination of the game.
In the 22nd minute, Odey had the chance to put Nigeria ahead but couldn’t convert from close range.
In the 38th minute of play, Nigeria had a penalty appeal but it was turned down by the Djibouti centre referee. It was a deserved penalty following the hacking down of Awoniyi inside the Sudanese box.
Shortly after, the host seized the momentum and shot into the lead few minutes to the first half break.
Sudan almost made it two goals up two minutes after the break but for a brilliant save by Adamu Abubakar.
NPFL top scorer with Nasarawa United, Sunusi Ibrahim was however substituted 20 minutes from time as the Eagles chased the equaliser which never came.
Nigeria piled more pressure on the hosts in the closing stages of the game with Fatai Gbadamosi and Sunday Adetunji replacing Faleye and Awoniyi respectively.
The hosts however stood firm and held to their slender advantage.
The reverse fixture will take place next week Tuesday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.
The overall winner of this round will proceed to the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations to be hosted by Egypt in November.