U-20 World Cup: Flying Eagles Rally To Make Winning Start

By: Gyang Dakwo

The Flying Eagles of Nigeria came from behind to defeat Dominican Republic in their FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023 opener at Mendoza Stadium.

Dominican Republic, playing in their first-ever FIFA match at any level, took the lead after 23 minutes when Benjamin Fredrick was adjudged to have fouled Guillermo De Peno inside the area. Captain Edison Azcona took responsibility from the spot to fire home his nation’s maiden strike.

Nigeria levelled soon after, though, when goalkeeper Xavier Valdez failed to claim a long throw which De Peno inadvertently flicked into his own net.

The Flying Eagles continued to push in the second half and completed the comeback with 20 minutes to go, as Samson Lawal pounced on a poor Israel Boatwright back-pass to slot it home beyond Valdez.

Nigeria and Dominican Republic will return to U-20 World Cup action on Wednesday against Italy and Brazil respectively.

Nigeria have now scored in five opening-day fixtures in a row at the U-20 World Cup since a 1-0 defeat to Venezuela at Egypt 2009.