Flying Eagles lose to Uganda in African Games opener

The Flying Eagles of Nigeria started their journey in the men’s football event at the 13th African Games in Ghana with a surprising 2-1 loss to their less favored Ugandan counterparts.

In the opening Group B match played at the University of Ghana Sport Stadium, Legion, the Nigerian team, coached by Ladan Bosso, found themselves trailing but managed to mount a comeback before eventually succumbing to their opponents.

 

The Junior Cranes of Uganda demonstrated their intent early in the game, securing the lead in the 34th minute with a goal from Arafat Usama.

 

However, the Nigerian side swiftly responded, with Sadiq Isiyaka equalizing just three minutes later with a composed finish in the 37th minute.

After the halftime break, the Ugandan team continued to apply pressure on the Nigerian defense, ultimately securing the winning goal in the 81st minute through Ivan Irinimbabazi.

 

Flying Eagles coach, Ladan Bosso, addressed the team’s performance after the match, emphasizing the need to address mistakes ahead of their next fixture.

 

“We will have a positive meeting with the players, allowing them to express themselves,” Bosso explained. “Although we would have preferred to start the tournament differently, the players understand that there are two crucial matches ahead that could make a significant difference.”

 

He expressed optimism about the team’s potential, highlighting the competitive nature within the squad. “Every player has the opportunity to earn a starting position. I am confident that the players understand what they need to achieve and the challenges ahead.”

 

Bosso stressed the importance of learning from mistakes and maintaining a positive mindset moving forward. “We discussed football with the group, focusing on how we can address the mistakes and approach future matches with a positive mentality.”

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Acknowledging the disappointment of the opening match result, Bosso emphasized the team’s determination to strive for success. “While we did not start the way we wanted, we remain committed to pursuing the dream we all share of representing our country at the highest level. We are prepared to fight for that dream in the upcoming games.”

Nigeria’s next match will be against Senegal on Monday at the same venue, offering an opportunity to revive their chances of progressing from the group stage. In the previous edition of the African Games in Rabat, Morocco, Nigeria clinched the runners-up position, Silver, in the men’s football event, narrowly losing to Burkina Faso in the final.

 

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