Soulaymane Faye scored the only goal as Senegal edged Nigeria 1-0 to occupy top spot in Group A of the TotalEnergies U-20 Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo on Sunday.
The CF Talavera striker broke the deadlock five minutes before half time to give coach Malick Daf an opening day victory at the Cairo International Stadium.
The Young Teranga Lions started strong in midfield with Lamine Camara and captain Samba Diallo pulling the strings for the WAFU-A champions.
Senegal made their intentions known from the opening minutes with striker Pape Diallo causing mayhem in the Nigerian box.
The Generation Foot attacker saw his header saved by the Nigerian goalkeeper Nwosu in the half hour mark from Lamine Camara’s inviting delivery.
The Cubs broke the deadlock five minutes before the break courtesy of Sulaymane Faye’s close-range finish. The lanky forward was the quickest to respond to Pape Diop’s low effort which Nwosu turned to his path, and he made no mistake to stick home the opportunity.
The second half was more open as Nigeria pushed for the equalizer, but the Cubs defended well to keep a clean sheet.
Captain Samba Diallo was lively going forward for Senegal and came close to doubling their lead when his diving header missed the bottom corner of the Nigerian goal.
The Flying Eagles were reduced to 10 men following Ahmed Abdullahi’s sending off in the closing stages of the match. The substitute was shown a straight red card for a high foot challenge on a Senegalese.
Senegal missed two late chances to increase their tally through second half substitute Mame Libasse Ngom. The Guediawaye FC forward failed to hit the target twice when he beat the keeper to the ball only to fire over the goal.