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U23 AFCON: Dream Team VII Lose Opener Over Against Ivory Coast
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U23 AFCON: Dream Team VII Lose Opener Over Against Ivory Coast

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

Nigeria's U-23 team, Dream team VII, were defeated 1-0 by Ivory Coast in their first game of the AFCON U-23 championship being played in Egypt.

After a goalless draw in the first half at the Al-Salaam Stadium in Cairo, Egypt, the Ivorians nicked the winner from the spot following a controversial penalty.

Nigeria finished the game with ten men, with Olisa Ndah who committed the foul for the penalty getting his marching order.

Imama Amapakabo's side started the second half as the more purposeful of the two teams and could have broken the deadlock after 64 minutes but Taiwo Iwonyi's header rebounded off the crossbar.

Moments later, the defending champions were made to pay for that miss after Olisa Ndah fouled Youssouf Dao inside the vital area by Egyptian referee, Mohamed Maarouf.

Although Nigeria’s goalkeeper Adamu Abubakar got a hand on Silas Gnaka's shot, the referee judged it to pass the goal line.

Nigeria worked hard to get the equalizer but it wasn't to be for the holders, as Les Elephants ran away with the three points.