Home » U20 FIFA World Cup: Senegal and Tunisia falter as Nigeria and Gambia pick up their first wins

U20 FIFA World Cup: Senegal and Tunisia falter as Nigeria and Gambia pick up their first wins

by Lesley Ngwa
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African champions Senegal opened their FIFA U20 World Cup campaign with a one-nil loss to South Asian side Japan in group C at La Plata.

Striker Kuryu Matsuki’s first touch at the edge of the box in the 15th minute stunned the young Teranga Lions, leaving captain Samba Diallo and teammates racing for an equalizer.
An equalizer was scored six minutes later but ruled out after a VAR review for offside.

Despite dominating in possession, Malick Daf’s side unfortunately left the game with regrets for all the wasted chances. Placed fourth on zero points, the team meets with Israel on Wednesday with hopes of redeeming themselves.

Prior to this game, Nigeria’s Samson Adeniran had come from behind with a 70th-minute strike to see the Flying Eagles emerge victorious over the Dominican Republic on Sunday, May 21, 2023.

Edison Azcona had put the debutants forward in the 23rd minute,but Guillermo Ronaldo’s header in an attempt to clear Nigeria’s pressing will rule out the Dominican lead, bringing the game back to business.

In the second half, Samson Lawal will work on Isreal Boatwright’s poor back pass to give Nigeria the much-deserved lead after Jude Sunday’s efforts two minutes earlier were ruled out for offside.

The Flying Eagles meet with group D leaders Italy on Wednesday at the Estadio Malvinad Argentinas.

Another win recorded by the continent in this world youth tournament came from the Gambia. The Mendoza stadium witnessed a thrilling encounter between both sides, with possession largely on the young scorpion. Adama Bojong was the star of the night after securing the opener just 30 seconds in.

A properly executed counterattack in the fifth minute will see Marco Aceituno’s header beat Youkasseh Sanyang.

Another brilliant opportunity presented itself for the young scorpions to regain the lead in the second half, but Geremy Rodas will endeavor to clear out Bojang’s effort after keeper Juergen Garcia went out of the post.

Bojang will finally complete his brace 20 minutes into stoppage time with a rebounded header saved by Garcia. Both sides had been competitive, registering over 37 shots combined throughout Monday’s encounter.

The Gambia will be hoping to replicate the same feat against France when they meet on Thursday.

North African representatives,  Tunisia, weren’t so lucky. The Carthage Eagles suffered a 0:1 loss to favorite England in their opener on Monday. Despite a swift show of determination and enthusiasm, the boys of Montasser Louhichi failed to restrain Dane Scarlett from getting the win.
Another opportunity comes up against Iraq on Thursday.

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