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Flying Eagles loss first match to Uganda 2 -1 in football opener

Posted : 08 March 2024

The Flying Eagles of Nigeria began their campaign in the men’s football event at the 13th African Games in Ghana with a shocking 2-1 defeat to their less fancied Ugandan counterparts. The opening Group B match took place at the University of Ghana Sport Stadium, Legion.

Ladan Bosso’s tutored side went behind but fought back only to succumb at the end of the game. The Junior Cranes of Uganda showed their intentions early, taking the lead in the 34th minute through Arafat Usama.

The Nigerian side replied almost immediately, with Sadiq Isiyaka equalizing with a cool finish in the 37th minute. On the resumption of the second half, the Ugandans kept piling pressure on the Nigerian defense, with Ivan Irinimbabazi eventually getting the winning goal in the 81st minute.

Flying Eagles coach, Ladan Bosso, after the match, said the team will correct the mistakes noticed ahead of their next match. “We would have a positive meeting with the players; it is important that they express themselves,” Bosso explained.

“Logically we would have liked to have started (the tournament) in another way, but the players are clear that there are two games ahead that could make so much difference. Anyone has the possibility of being a starter – am optimistic the players know what they stand to achieve and the task ahead.

“We talked about football with the group, about how we can improve the mistakes we had and thus move on with a positive mentality. We know what we have to do in the upcoming games, which is to go out and look for victory; we are prepared for that.

“For every player, being in the national team is a dream; we did not start the way we wanted, but we will continue fighting for that dream that we all have,” Bosso said. Nigeria will next lock horns with Senegal on Monday at the same venue to rekindle their hopes of qualifying from the group.

Nigeria finished as runners-up (Silver) in the men’s football event at the 12th African Games in Rabat, Morocco, narrowly losing to Burkina Faso in the final.


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