Nigeria suffered a slim 1-0 loss to Ivory Coast in their Group B opener at the U23 Africa Cup of Nations in Cairo.
The West African clash saw a lot of missed chances in the first half with both sides unable to find the back of the net after 45 minutes.
Cup holders - Nigeria failed to take advantage of an apparent familiar Al Salam Stadium in Cairo – the same venue where the Super Eagles picked up the bronze medals of the 2019 AFCON after pipping Tunisia 1-0 in July.
A defensive error midway into the second half changed the narrative of the game and Nigeria went down by the goal that eventually earn Ivory Coast three points.
Nigeria defender Olisa Harold Ndah was sent off in the 70th minute for simulation inside the danger area after which Silas Gnaka nicely converted the penalty in the 71st minute.
With just 13 shots and two on target, coach Imama Amapakabo and his players were left licking their wounds at the end of regulation time.
Nigeria 🇳🇬 starting lineup vs Ivory Coast
Adamu Abubakar (GK), Godfrey Stephen Bitok, Izuchukwu Anthony, Olisa Harold Ndah, Sincere Seth, Adam Aliyu, Kelechi Nwakali (C), Ndifreke Effiong Udo, Blessing Olabiran Muyiwa, Orji Okwonkwo, Bright Enobakhare