The Flying Eagles of Nigeria secured their first win at the 2013 Fifa World Youth ChampionshipNigeria got their campaign back into gear with a victory over Cuba at the Fifa World Youth Championships in Turkey on Monday.
A brace from Umar Aminu and a well taken header by Abdul Ajagun were all John Obuh's team needed to silence the Caribbean side.
The Flying Eagles started brightly with Kayode Olarenwaju running endlessly at the Cuban defence which created some moment of panic for the team led by Raul Gonzalez. Though the Concacaf fourth best youth side forced their way back through Yordan Santa Cruz and Adrian Diz Pe, their shots on goal did not trouble Chukwunenye Okani who was in goal for Nigeria.
After several minutes of a ding-dong affair, Umar got the curtain raiser in the 19th minute with a simple tap in after receiving a sublime pass from Kayode Olarenwaju who breezed into the opponents’ goal area from the midfield.
Nigeria could have added the second a minute later, but Chidi Osuchukwu’s shot was off the mark. The second goal came in the 23rd minute through Umar who finished off an uncleared ball in the Cuban defence off a corner kick.
The goal proved to be the tonic the Obuh boys needed as they dominated all departments of the game but poor finishing was their major undoing as Ajagun, Osuchukwu and Kayode took turns to blow away begging chances. Even Michael Olaitan’s ferocious shot outside the Islanders’ penalty area in the 26th minute was only good enough for the wood work.
On resumption of the second half, the Nigerians continued their dominance but were wasteful in front of goal. Olarenwaju came one on one thrice with the goalie but fluffed those chances, as Edafe Egbedi who replaced Chidi Osuchukwu had his own share of misses too.
Abdul Ajagun gave the Flying Eagles an unassailable lead in the 67th minute heading home a floater that gave goalkeeper Sandy Sanchez no chance.
Even with the introduction Darion Perez, Cuba failed to get the cutting edge, as the Flying Eagles front men continued to throw away clear cut chances with Olarenwaju the main culprit.
Ajagun failed to increase his goal tally in the tournament to four after he threw away a stoppage time penalty kick.
The Flying Eagles will tackle Korea Republic in the last group game on Thursday at the Ali Sami Yen Arena in Istanbul.