Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets edged Tanzania 5-4 in a thrilling encounter at the 2019 Africa U-17 Cup of Nations opening match in Dar es Salaam on Sunday.
The Golden Eaglets could not convert several chances in a match they had total control of with 3-1 at half time.
The Nigerian team could have been one goal up as early as 20 seconds into the game but a clumsy shot by Olakunle Olusegun, who was guilty of wastage, was easily prevented from getting inside the goal post by Yahya Mwinyi.
Wisdom Ubani and Ayobami Amoo, also threw away several opportunities before Olatomi Olaniyan put Nigeria in front in the 21st minute by booting into the net from a rebound after an initial effort stopped by Mwinyi.
The opponent replied immediately with Edmund John stroking past a badly positioned goalkeeper Suleman Shaibu, who showed little confidence all afternoon.
Eight minutes later, Nigeria regained their lead after Ubani latched onto a high pass, peeled a defender and placed the ball to the far side of Mwinyi.
It was a thriller from beginning to end but the Golden Eaglets won 5-4.
Victory took the Eaglets top of Group A ahead of the other clash between Angola and Uganda.
On Wednesday, the Eaglets will take on Angola at the same venue while the Serengeti Boys will be up against Uganda.
A victory will most likely take the Eaglets to the semi finals, and a place at the FIFA U17 World Cup finals taking place in Brazil later this year.