Nigeria’s national under-17 male football team on Wednesday began their campaign in the WAFU U-17 Tournament with a 1-0 loss to Cote d’Ivoire at the Stade Municipal Stadium in Lome, Togo.
The Golden Eaglets started the match on a sluggish note and their Ivorian counterparts duly dominated play.
Cote d’Ivoire almost took the lead in the 31st minute but was denied by Nigeria’s goalkeeper Destiny Emuwahem who produced a fine save.
The Eaglets gradually grew into the game with their first real opportunity coming in the 37th minute.
Joseph Arumala’s low cross into the opponent’s penalty area did not find the required finish.
In the second half, the Ivorians made some forays into the Nigerian area and they finally got their reward as Konaté Abdramane scored the winning goal in the 76th minute.
In the U20 tournament last December, Ivory Coast scored 1-0 against Nigeria to edge out the Flying Eagles in their first match and the junior team Wednesday suffered the same fate.
The Golden Eaglets will now face arch-rivals Ghana in their final Group B match on Saturday, needing a win to stand any chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.