2023 U-20 AFCON: Flying Eagles Lose To Senegal In Group Opener

2023 U-20 AFCON: Flying Eagles Lose To Senegal In Group Opener

The Flying Eagles of Nigeria got their campaign at the 2023 U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt off to a poor start, after losing 1-0 to Senegal in their first game in Group A played inside the Cairo International stadium on Sunday, Completesports.com reports.

A late first half goal by Souleymane Faye earned Senegal the first win of the tournament.

The Flying Eagles finished the game with 10 men in stoppage time after substitute Ahmed Abdullahi was sent off for a bad challenge.

Ladan Bosso-led team will hope to bounce back from the defeat to Senegal when they face hosts Egypt on Wednesday, 22 February.

Meanwhile, the opening game of the tournament also played on Sunday, saw Egypt settle for a goalless draw against Mozambique.

The Flying Eagles had the first big chance on 21 minutes but the effort inside the box was well blocked.

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In the 32nd minute a dangerous cross from the right was headed by Adams Alade which landed on the roof of the net.

Senegal were awarded a free-kick in a decent area on 34 minutes but Nathaniel Nwosu in goal for the Flying Eagles came out to claim the ball.

Senegal broke the deadlock in the 40th minute through Souleymane Faye, who slammed the ball into the net after Nwosu had saved an initial low shot by Pape Diop.

With two minutes left to play in the first half, the Flying Eagles were forced to an early substitution as Daniel Daga went off with a knock and was replaced by Nicholas Jonathan.

Just three minutes into the second half Senegal won a free-kick but the dangerous floated effort tool a slight deflection off a Flying Eagles player and rolled out for a corner.

Senegal continued to create chances and went close on 56 minutes off a dangerous cross which a Flying Eagles did well enough to head away for a corner.

On 64 minutes the Flying Eagles were awarded a free-kick close to the box of the Senegalese team but Emmanuel Uchegbu hit his left foot strike against the wall.

In the 69th minute a Flying Eagles player tried a left foot strike from distance which the Senegalese keeper saved.

Senegal almost doubled their lead on 71 minutes but Lamine Camara failed to direct his effort towards goal.

With four minutes remaining a timely clearance by a Flying Eagles defender inside the box denied a Senegalese player the chance to shoot at goal.

In the 88th minute the Flying Eagles had their first shot on target but the strike from range was well saved by the Senegalese keeper.

Senegal almost went 2-0 up on 93 minutes following a mix up between Flying Eagles keeper and his defender but Mame Ngom saw his attempt go over the bar.

A minute later Ngom missed another very good chance as he saw his strike graze the cross bar after rounding the keeper.

And in stoppage time substitute Ahmed Abdullahi was sent off for kicking the face of a Senegalese player.

By James Agberebi

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  • Selfmade KING 1 year ago

    It seems like Ghana fa and their NIGERIAN counterparts shares ideas haha 

    The level of corruption and the AGENCY players that they take to tournaments is mind blowing!!

    U can see the Nigerian team is full of AGENCY PLAYERS haha 

    • …until world cup ticket will elude them and they will wobble into oblivion

  • Sean 1 year ago

    Nawa o! After 86 goals in jus19 games.
    After the promises from Paseiro to bring the to Super Eagles and chase out the likes of Iwobi, Lookman , Osimhen and co.
    We really need prayers in this country o!

  • Ndubest 1 year ago

    Shame! Shame!! Shame!!!. This team aren’t going anywhere. Corruption has eaten deeply into the fabric of this nation and i wonder when we will be liberated. This is the best we can present? Shame! Shame!! Shame!!!

    • Footballfanatic 1 year ago

      Ladan Bozo is a fraud……This was a disjointed display from a team that resumed camp early and played so many friendlies. The Senegalese were not that special if they were we would have been trounced 3 Nil but there was no tactical input at all it was like watching a team from the Shell cup…. I’m not going to raise my hopes…..I have doubts they will qualify for the WYC except there’s a drastic change in the next game against the Host.

  • TONY 1 year ago

    The first problem is that Nigerians overhype their players. Not putting our players down but they are not as good as we make them out to be. The Senegalese team we played today wasn’t a great team, but we lacked creativity in midfield to expose them.
    Lack of players with such ability has also been our bane at the senior national team level.
    I’m surprised that Tolulope Ojo, one the very few players who showed flair and technical skills at the WAFU tournament was dropped from this team. I don’t know if his absence was age-related or as a result of injury.
    Don’t intend to stir the hornets-nest here but truth of the matter as I have observed over the years is that states like the old Benue-Plateau, the old Cross-River state and the old Bendel state produced more flair and creative players because of their footballing culture. Not saying such players cannot be found in other parts of Nigeria but it will be wise to scout more thoroughly in those sections of the country.
    Given today’s results, it is conceivable that we might have one foot in Abuja after our next match in this tournament.

    • Omo Naija 1 year ago

      But the best Nigerian players with flair have mostly come from the East and old Bendel (especially Edo and Delta)…Kanu Nwankwo, JJ Okocha, Amunike etc

      • JimmyBall 1 year ago

        …football is played well in sections of Nigeria. The team that played the qualifiers appear more formidable than this one put together and as many as 10players were cut from the qualifiers team. Your guess is as good as mine.

        …those talents are still there. The thing is that a tournament like Afcon U20 is a stage to sell players and that’s what these coaches do. Strike deals with grassroot teams, Giant Brillers, 36Lions, FC Ebedei, GBS Academy, Dabo Babes, Junior El-Kanemi and take their players after percentages have been agreed.

  • Chima E Samuels 1 year ago

    I don’t know if the new generation of Nigerian kids doesn’t have football talents in them else why will a football by unable to pass, create chances or make goals. This is not Nigeria has something changed over the course of time??? Because whatever I saw on pitch today anyone can do it even if you have no football talent in you. The new NFF president is not even saying anything concerning our decline in Football and it’s making me sad the more.

    • Chima E Samuels 1 year ago

      *footballer be 

      • Mr Chima we are all sad just like you to see a Nigerian U20 team play like people in a novelty match ,in the past whenever any Nigerian team was pitched against any Senegalise team the question used to be how wide the goal margin would be in our win with no consideration of a draw not to talk of a loss. But times have changed, our football administrators have abandoned grass root development of football through our school system. The ministry of sports that receives budgetary allocations year after year for YOUTHS AND SPORTS DEVELOPMENT behaves like as if sports development is non of their business. Until we as a Nation decides to take football back to primary school, secondary school and even tertiary institutions the standard of our football will continue to crash not just fall. How can any sane leadership of a country that loves football like Nigeria abandon the development of football and choose to rely on boys from street corners with no experience in organised football wether training or competitions to form our National teams. The sports print and electronic media are even worse, they all rankadede their ways to becoming media assistants to sports administrators instead of calling them out for corruption and abandonment of school/grassroot development of our football.

  • Four four two 1 year ago

    Its too early to criticize. Argentina lost their first match to a team as lowly rated as Saudi Arabia and then bounce back to win the tournament. So let’s wait and see what happens in the next two games. All good teams always have that inherent ability to bounce back. If the coach and team show no reaction in the next two games then they have no business going to the world cup. For now , I hold my words.

    • Olujjjj 1 year ago

      Against Egypt .. even referee wil not allow Egypt to lose … Penalty must come out . unless the coach has tactics to stop Dem . With wat I see the flying eagles are falling for counter attack… At least it could have been 3 for the Senegalese..so against Egypt it wil just be rolling in … I m expecting 4 at worst .
      Even I read the coach complain about his team not scoring more than 1 goal.
      By Tuesday I wil tell him wat to do .
      All coaches we have now don’t have tortoise brain. They only teach how to pass the ball around.haha Nigeria lule
      Super eagles olule super falcon olule.super eaglet olule .
      Pacessiro ni I wil win afcon with u 20 invite too .ofelule o

  • Glory 1 year ago

    A flying eagles team loaded with players with brawn but no brains. Honestly can’t believe this is the team that has been scoring goals aplenty. A complete eye sore; running like headless chickens. No build up play, no team balance, no co-ordinated attacking move. Just gbi gbo football. Can’t believe Bosso/NFF didn’t see a need for a player like Shotire of man utd in this team desperately begging for an attacking midfielder and also that ozor David from crystal palace and even those foreign born that showed up. There is something always lacking in our home based / home grown talents; TECHNICAL ABILITY and that was the difference between Nigeria and Senegal who have got quite a few their players from France.

    • This has nothing to do with homebased or foreign born players, Nigeria came close to winning the U20 World cup twice and came third once with home base talents, i remember Friday Elaho, Ndubusi Okosieme, goal keeper Agbonavbare, Osaro Obobaifo etc were drafted into the flying eagles from Edokpolo grammar school after winning the principals cup few weeks earlier.(Principal cup was the national secondary school football competition in Nigeria) My question is who stopped the football competitions like PRINCIPALS CUP AND THE ACADEMIcALS in the secondary schools? All sports are developed through the school systems in America, why is it so difficult for Nigeria politicians and sports administrators to do the simple things like every other nation does. The TALENTS are every where just organize them. Channelstv used to organize primary school football competition annually before Covid 19 struck, if Channels can do that why can’t local govt., state govt. or Nigeria the giant of Africado it. There was a time in Nigeria when our flyings eagles were sent to player the Liberian Senior team in Monrovia and Fying Eagles beat them – 2:0

    • Footballfanatic 1 year ago

      Actually the Senegalese have only 3 foreign based players….No 10 is from shaktar dontesk and 2 others from the lower leagues in spain….The rest play their football in senegal..

  • Codex 1 year ago

    It was an abject performance from the Bosso led flying eagles no creativity,no panache, extremely workman-like and yet disoriented perhaps the biggest issue was the uncompressed nature of our midfield which made it easy for Senegal to walk through it and expose our defensive fragility which is Bosso’s fault,i hope he rectifies these issues particularly the tactical issue of compression or else we’ll be staring at the exit early on.

  • Surprisingly, Ladan Bosso’s boys were not methodical today in their approach and application. They played without a clear vision and were rudimentary all round. It was like watching a Sunday league team who only managed to afford jerseys for all 11 players.

    Can they improve as the tournament progresses, it is possible but I will not hold my breath. This is far from a tournament-winning side but anything is possible.

  • TALK UR OWN 1 year ago


  • Ololo 1 year ago

    For me I think this Senegal side is a very solid team with lot of qualities and were probably too much for out team to handle..

    Very tall and they dominated the middle.. our boys were just clueless and had no formula to overpower them.. again this Senegal guys don’t look 20, esp their captain.. how can that guy be 20.. we were poor but let give them another chance

  • Dayo 1 year ago

    Siasia where are you? Emenike where at thou? You see, football is for the south in Nigeria. Coaches is for the south south and south east. This was what I saw.

  • Rasaq Lawal 1 year ago

    Nigeria paraded men instead of boys.No tactical input from the coaches and the players played to be noticed by scouts.

    • …until e go over them when them no go get world cup tickets. Make them learn from their predecessors.

  • Ako Amadi 1 year ago

    Apart from the muscles of their goalkeeper the Flying Eagles had nothing to show! They played unlike a Nigerian team – no flair,no shots, no dribbles and no fight.I hope they recover from this lethsrgic performsnce

  • The problem of this loss was from coaching and tactics. Ladan Bosso’s tactics were competely wrong. The transition from defence to attack was non existence , the midfielders lost the battle in the middle and the attackers were stranded. All i could see were long balls over the midfield that conceeded posession to the senagalese. The keeper kept kicking long balls to concede posession. It was ridiculous, doing the same thing and expecting a different result.

    I was shocked at that tactic it was useless.

  • obest 1 year ago

    Laden Bosso or what he calls himself.You pick useless men with no skill. The man that got redcarded had no business in that team. shame unto you. Against Egypt, you need to select your best, try your bench and hope for luck. pray you don’t loose by 4 goals.

  • Tyem 1 year ago

    Where is Hilary Albert the Plateau United utility forward who assisted the Flying Eagles won the WAFU Cup ?

  • JimmyBall 1 year ago

    Flying Eagles and Golden Eaglets of years past used to be the best youngsters selected from all over Nigeria…

    It was clear in those days to see names typical from all over Nigeria. Now a coach will go to Ojuelegba under bridge and pick all his players and a few recommended by his business friends and present as national team.

    We never know wetin good for us…

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