Agbalaka lifts Flying Eagles off the ground at Egypt 2023

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It initially appeared only Senegal were licensed to score in the Group A of the on-going Africa U-20 Nations Cup  after their 1-0 defeat of Nigeria and another 3-0 crushing of Mozambique and Nigeria and Egypt looking unable to find the back of the net, full back, Solomon Agbalaka rose above all to nod home a decisive goal that catapaulted Nigeria from the bottom to second place on the rung.

That was in the 70th minute and Nigeria flew away with a decisive 1-0 win over hosts Egypt at the scantly filled Cairo International Stadium on Wednesday evening.

And so, the Flying Eagles can dream of a possible quaterfinal slot in the tournament.

It was a cagey game initially as pendulum swung from side to side, especially in the first half.  Before then, Senegal had taken a commanding control of the group after battering Mozambique 3-0 to sit comfortably atop.

Both Nigeria and Egypt without any goal were struggling for the second position on the log.

Before the halftime break, Ayuba Abubakar had the glorious chance to find the back of the Egyptian goal after captain Daniel Bameyi desperately carried the ball out of the Nigerian half and found him. 

The striker dummied an Egyptian defender rather than hitting the ball at the first time of asking and saw the ball eventually cleared. 

The struggle continued. A catalogue of near misses was recorded on both sides. Then came the 73rd minute when a cornerkick from the right flank was nodded in by Agbalaka to decide the game in Nigeria’s favour.

With Senegal registering a 3-0 win over Mozambique in the other Group A match, Nigeria move from last to second with three points.

The Flying Eagles wi advance to the quarterfinals should they avoid a defeat against Mozambique in their last group game.

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