The 2023 FIFA under-20 World Cup got underway in Argentina over the weekend and for Africa’s representatives the opening day of matches was on Sunday.
Nigeria encountered some difficulties against Dominican Republic, a country known more for its prowess in baseball than football, but the Flying Eagles came back from a deficit to win 2-1 in Group D. Katsina United midfielder Samson Lawal scored the winning goal in the second half after Nigeria fell behind to a penalty kick in the first half.
It is early in the competition but the victory is crucial for the Nigerian team considering they will have to face world heavyweights Italy and Brazil in their next fixtures.
Later on Sunday, African under-20 men’s champions Senegal did not have as much luck as their Nigerian counterparts. Senegal fell to a 1-0 defeat against Japan to open up play in Group C and will have to get their campaign on track when they face Israel on Wednesday.
Kuryu Matsuki put Japan ahead after a quarter hour and Senegal were denied a quick response from Samba Diallo after his goal was overturned by the Video Assistant Referee.
Senegal 0-1 Japan
Nigeria 2-1 Dominican Republic