Nigeria kicked off their adventure at the 2023 FIFA U20 World Cup in Argentina on a positive note after beating the Dominican Republic on Sunday evening.
Soccernet.ng here highlights five major talking points from the Group D clash.
Flying Eagles’ winning start
Nigeria’s U-20 national team, the Flying Eagles, kicked off their FIFA U-20 World Cup journey with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over debutant Dominican Republic.
The win marks a positive start to their quest for their first U-20 World Cup title.
The match was not without its share of VAR controversies.
Nigeria had a penalty appeal turned down early in the game. At the same time, a VAR review awarded the Dominican Republic a penalty, which Edison Azcona confidently converted to give his team the lead.
VAR also ruled out a potential penalty for Nigeria in the first half, highlighting the influence and impact of video technology in the game.
Jude Sunday’s threat
Forward Jude Sunday was a constant threat to the Dominican Republic’s defense.
He unleashed powerful shots and came close to scoring on multiple occasions.
Despite not finding the back of the net, Sunday’s efforts showcased his attacking prowess and played a crucial role in Nigeria’s comeback.
Samson Lawal’s decisive strike
It was Samson Lawal who ultimately turned the game in Nigeria’s favour.
Seizing on a poor back pass, Lawal calmly slotted the ball past the goalkeeper to give the Flying Eagles the lead in the 70th minute. His clinical finish proved to be the decisive moment of the match.
Both goalkeepers showcased their skills throughout the game.
Nigerian goalkeeper Chijioke Aniagboso made a crucial save in the second half, parrying away a superb long-range effort from Edison Azcona.
Aniagboso’s save preserved Nigeria’s lead and highlighted the importance of strong goalkeeping in pivotal moments.
Overall, Nigeria’s Flying Eagles demonstrated resilience, adaptability, and determination in their comeback win.