NIGERIA’S Golden Eaglets have got their campaign to lift the 2019 U17 World Cup off to a flying start with a hard fought 4-2 victory over Hungary laying down a marker that they are out to win the tournament for a record sixth time.
Earlier today, the tournament kicked off with hosts Brazil facing Canada in Gama, while Nigeria locked horns with the Young Magyars in Goiania’s Estadio Olimpico. After a slow starts that saw Nigeria go into the break a goal behind, the Eaglets rallied in the second half with three quick goals in the 79th, 81st and 85th minutes, which settled the match.
Despite conceding the opening goal three minutes into the match, Nigeria were quick to regain control of the tempo. Captain Samson Tijani equalised from the penalty spot in the 20th minute and later on wrapped up the three points with a free-kick that took a friendly deflection in the 85th minute.
Sandwiched between those goals were close-range headed goals from Usman Ibrahim in the 79th minute and Oluwatimilehin Adeniyi in the 81 at minute. This spirited comeback became necessary after the Hungarians got off to a dream start, catching the Eaglets off guard when midfielder Gyorgy Komaromi tapped in David Laszlo’s looping cross, unmarked at the far post.
They struck again only eight minutes after Tijani’s equaliser, this time Samuel Major made a late charge into the penalty area and drove the ball home from 15 yards. However, after absorbing Nigeria’s pressure well for most of the evening, Hungary relented in the final 15 minutes as they appeared worn down, with fatigue getting the better of them.
With three points secure, Nigeria will now face Ecuador on Tuesday and then Australia on Friday. Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets are the most successful side ever in U17 football with five titles, followed by Brazil with three and then Ghana and Mexico with two trophies apiece.