The West African derby in Cairo ended in favor of the Francophone nation who showed more hunger and quality overall
Nigeria’s u-20 national team began the quest for a record-extending eight continental title on a disappointing note after suffering a narrow 1-0 loss to their Senegalese counterparts in their opening Group A match of the 2023 Africa U20 Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Souleymane Faye’s fine strike five minutes before the end of the first half was all the Young Lions of Teranga needed to claim a memorable win over the Nigerian boys.
The Flying Eagles will be particularly disappointed with the result after coming onto this tournament on the back of a long unbeaten run, which included a win over Zambia and Congo in the last couple of weeks.
But after dominating the early exchanges, the Ladan Bosso-tutored side ceded ground and initiative to Senegal.
And it was no surprise to see the Young Lions take the lead from an opportunistic Faye goal after goalkeeper Nwosu pushed an initial shot back into the danger area.
Nigeria were second best from that point on and did not look like grabbing the equaliser at any point in the second half.
Senegal’s defence did well to cage the Nigerian attack while their attackers had enough chances to extend their lead but fluffed their lines when well placed.
The Flying Eagles finished the encounter with ten men after substitute Ahmed Abdullahi was sent off for a second bookable offence deep into stoppage time.
While Senegal go straight to the top of the table, Nigeria fall to the bottom of Group A with no points.
Earlier in the day, Egypt and Mozambique played a goalless draw, with both teams boasting a point apiece.
The Flying Eagles’ next face hosts Egypt in a match they cannot afford to lose.