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U-20 World Cup: Nigeria defeat stubborn Dominican Republic in group D opener

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles came from a goal down to defeat a stubborn Dominican Republic U-20 team in their Group D opener at the 2023 U-20 World Cup competition in Argentina.

The Flying Eagles were tipped as favourites against the Carribean debutants in their group stage opener.

The U-20 Eagles controlled the match from kickoff but failed to create chances and so were stunned when Dominican Republic took the lead.

The minnows took the lead against the run of play in the 23rd minute when Inter Miami midfielder Edison Azcona sent Chijioke Aniagboso the wrong way from the penalty spot after the VAR influenced penalty call.

The Flying Eagles piled pressure with Jude Sunday, Ibrahim Muhammad, and Lawal Salim Fago threatening the Dominican defence.

As reward, Nigeria were gifted an equaliser in the 31st minute when a long throw-in from Daniel Bameyi was headed by Guillermo De Pena past his own goalkeeper for 1-1.

Nigeria emerged for the second half pushing for the winner. The Flying Eagles had the ball in the back of the net shortly into the half through the impressive Sunday, only for the assistant referee’s flag to rule for offside.

In the 70th minute, the Flying Eagles finally found the breakthrough when Samson Lawal capitalised on a defensive error to score the winning goal.

Nigeria dominated the remaining minutes of the match, with the Dominican goalkeeper pulling off a number of quality saves to keep the scoreline respectable.

The Flying Eagles have now picked up three points and would face Italy in their next game on Wednesday May 24.

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