Nigeria’s Under-23 side will need to overturn a one-goal first-leg deficit in qualifying for the CAF Under-23 AFCON, following Thursday’s defeat at the hands of Sudan in Omdurman.

Imama Amapakabo’s side dominated much of the ball on the night, but was unable to find a way past the hosts’ rearguard. Instead, it was Sudan that struck against the run of play just before half-time, breaking on a disoriented Nigeria defence to notch the only goal of the game.

Leading the line for Nigeria, the duo of Taiwo Awoniyi and Stephen Odey were unable to take advantage of a handful of favourable openings, and the former in particular had a penalty appeal in the first half turned down.

The return leg will be played at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba on Tuesday, September 10, with the winner of the tie advancing to the U-23 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt at the end of the year. The competition will serve as the qualifier for next year’s Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Nigeria are reigning champions at the level, having won the 2015 edition in Senegal.

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