Flying Eagles skipper Abduljaleel Ajagun has promised a fight back by the team after they lost 3-2 to Portugal on Friday in an opening U20 World Cup game.
“We are all disappointed we lost the game but we are also looking forward to our next game against Cuba on Monday,” said Ajagun, whose two second-half goals were not enough to stop a Portugal victory on Friday in front of over 10,000 fans at the Kadir Has Stadium in Kayseri.
“We will improve in our next game and score the goals that will get us back in the competition.”
Coach John Obuh also said the match against Cuba should now be the focus.
“It was a keenly contested game but unfortunately we lost, this was not what we had hoped for,” Obuh said.
“We have to take the defeat in good faith so as to face the next game because we have to qualify to the next round.”
Portugal raced to a two-goal lead in the first half.
The tricky Bruma, who was not at the Toulon International Tournament on account of an U19 engagement, made his presence felt on the half hour when he put away his chance after he was set up by skipper Joao Mario.
Big striker Aladje, who was a major injury doubt before this match, then made it 2-0 four minutes after goalkeeper Samuel Okani failed to hold on to a low cross from the left.
However, the Flying Eagles fought back gamely after the interval with skipper Ajagun grabbing two goals to draw his team level.
First, he put away a pass from Olanrewaju Kayode after 57 minutes and 10 minutes later got his team at par when his delightful free kick beat outstanding Portugal goalkeeper Jose Sa.
But just when Nigeria thought they had salvaged a result from this encounter the lively Bruma fired the match winner moments after Ajagun’s equaliser.
In the other match in Group B played earlier, South Korea came from behind to beat Cuba 2-1.
– Report by Sola Rogers (Twitter – @solarogers)
Leave your comment here