Nigeria’s U-23 Eagles lost 1-0 to Sudan in the first leg of their Africa U-23 Cup of Nations, final round, qualifying fixture at the Al Merreikh Stadium, Omdurman on Thursday night.
The Eagles had a fair share of possession in the opening minutes but were let down by their prolifigacy in front of goal with Taiwo Amoniyi and Stephen Odey the worst culprits.
Sunday Faleye, Muyiwa Olabiran and Nda Olisa all tormented the Sudanese defence but their was nothing to show for their efforts.
Odey had the chance to put the visitors ahead in the 22nd minute but couldn’t convert from close range.
Nigeria had a penalty appeal turned down seven minutes before the break by the Djibouti referee after Awoniyi was brought down in the box.
The home team took the lead against the run of play just before half time.
Sudan nearly added the second goal two minutes after the break but for a brilliant save by Adamu Abubakar.
Sunusi Ibrahim replaced 20 minutes from time as the Eagles chased the equalising goal.
Nigeria piled more pressure on the hosts in the closing stages of the game with Fatai Gbadamosi and Sunday Adetunji replacing Faleye and Awoniyi respectively.
The hosts however stood firm and held to their slender advantage.
The reverse fixture will take place next week Tuesday at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba.
The overall winner will proceed to the Africa U-23 Cup of Nations to be hosted by Egypt in November.