Two-time champions Nigeria picked all three points in a 1-0 win over Zambia to commence their Africa U17 Cup of Nations in Algeria on a promising note on Sunday.
Favour Daniel struck powerfully past the Zambian goal-tender from a goalmouth melee 14 minutes to the end in Algeria’s second city, giving Nigeria all the honours in a largely average encounter that opened the campaign in Group B.
Nigeria dominated for large swatches of the evening at the Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui but ineffective short passes and poor shooting in front of goal denied them an avalanche of goals against a Zambian team that failed to bite.
Both teams hit the woodwork in the first period and Abubakar Abdullahi saw his efforts saved twice as Nigeria piled on the pressure.
The five-time world champions were set to take a two-goal win into their clash with Morocco on Wednesday but substitute Light Eke made light work of a penalty kick awarded two minutes into additional time and gave the goalkeeper no worries.
Nigeria defender Yahaya Lawali was named Man of the Match.
After their encounter with Morocco on Wednesday evening, the Eaglets will play South Africa in their final match of Group B on Saturday.
The four top-placed teams at the 12-nation finals will represent Africa at this year’s FIFA U17 World Cup.