Agbalaka heads Flying Eagles into second in Group A following win over Egypt

Solomon Agbalaka celebrates goal against Egypt

U-20 AFCON Agbalaka heads Flying Eagles into second in Group A following win over Egypt

Jidechi Chidiezie 19:57 - 22.02.2023

After suffering a disappointing start in their first game, Nigeria's U-20 side got its win of the tournament on Wednesday.

Nigeria's Flying Eagles bounced back from their opening day defeat at the 2023 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations, to defeat hosts Egypt 1-0 in their second game at the tournament on Wednesday.

The Flying Eagles had started their campaign with a disappointing 1-0 win over Senegal, but history favoured them going into the clash against Egypt. 

The seven-time African champions had won their second group game the two times they lost their opening games in previous competitions. 

Also, Nigeria went into the game with a better head-to-head record, with three wins to Egypt’s two victories. 

Egypt unable to utilize first half chances 

Meanwhile, Egypt, who are the host, came into the match following a disappointing goalless draw against Mozambique on opening day. 

The young Pharaohs started the game against Ladan Bosso’s men on the front foot. Backed by a scanty home crowd, the North Africans created a couple of half chances in the early stages of the game. 

Despite dominating proceedings, the home side failed to trouble Nigeria’s defence as both sides went into the break with no breakthrough. 

Agbalaka seals deal with thumping header

The second half followed a similar pattern as the first, with Egypt dictating play. The Pharaohs almost took the lead moments after the resumption but were denied by Chijioke Aniagboso twice in Nigeria’s goal. 

Those two misses would later come back to haunt them, as against the run of play, Nigeria took the lead in the 71st minute through Solomon Agbalaka. 

The left-back’s towering header from a corner kick put Ladan Bosso’s men ahead against the run of play. 

Agbalaka’s header left Egypt stunned as they went in search of an equaliser. But despite piling on late pressure, Nigeria held on for a vital win following their loss to Senegal. 

The result takes Nigeria up to second in their group behind Senegal, who beat Mozambique 3-0 in the other match. 

It also means Nigeria can seal their place in the quarter-final with a win over Mozambique in their final group game on Saturday. 

Related content