February, 20 2023.
Head Coach of Nigeria's Under-20 Men's team, the Flying Eagles, Ladan Issa Bosso says there in no cause to be overtly alarmed, after his team's 0-1 loss to Senegal on the opening day of the 2023 CAF U-20 Africa Cup of Nations, in Cairo, Egypt.
Soulaymane Faye scored the only goal of the match, as Senegal's Curb Lions of Teranga edged Nigeria 1-0 to occupy top spot in Group A of the tournament.
That encounter, followed a thrilling goalless draw between the Under-20 Pharaohs and their counterparts, in the opening match, also played in Cairo.
Soulaymane Faye who plays for CF Talavera broke the deadlock for Senegal from close range, 5 minutes before half time to give coach Malick Daf an opening day victory at the Cairo International Stadium.
Nigeria pushed for the equalizer in the second half, but the Curb Lions defended well, and the firepower of the Flying Eagles was short circuited, when they were reduced to 10 men following Ahmed Abdullahi’s sending off in the closing stages of the match, for a high foot challenge on a Senegalese.
Speaking after the match, Coach Bosso acknowledged that no team is happy to lose, especially the opening match of the tournament. He then praised his boys for putting in a good fight and urged them to stay focused on their main objective of being in Egypt; which is to punch one of the four African tickets to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Indonesia.
"Mistakes were made, but we have to learn from them, take the positives and refocus on the remaining matches".
Up next for the Flying Eagles, seven time champions at this level is a date with U-20 Pharaohs of Egypt, and the U-20 Mambas of Mozambique.