By Albert Akota
A solitary strike from Musa Mohammed ensured that the Nigeria U-20 team edged Warri Wolves 1-0 in the match day three of the Super Six tournament at the Abuja National Stadium yesterday.
Wolves were more efficient in the opening periods with their all-out attacking system and passing game.
Joseph Osadiaye skillfully ran at the Flying Eagles defenders and delivered a rocket which Joshua Enaholo brilliantly tipped away.
It was an early warning to the Nigeria U20 team of the quality Wolves could offer with their three-man attack led by Osadiaye.
The previously fluent Flying Eagles struggled for possession as Wolves pushed them to their shells in the first half.
Sulaiman Abdullahi was wasteful when he was presented the chance to pull trigger in the 33rd minute.
Two minutes later the powerful youngster lobbed goalkeeper Odah but his chip was cleared off the line by the Wolves defence line.
This sparked an early tactical decision by the Flying Eagles technical bench, thus Abdullahi made way for Usman Sale seven minutes from half time.
Late in the first half, left-back Roland Silas had the ball the net, but match referee
Ukah Ndubuisi showed that he was in-charge as he ruled the effort as offside.
One minute into resumption, Flying Eagles skipper Mohammed punished the ball watching Wolves defenders with the first goal of the encounter.
It was a well executed flying header from the overlapping right-back.
The goal ensured that U20 team stepped up the tempo like they showed against Enyimba International and Kano Pillars.
Wasiu Jimoh fired a weak shot to the far right of Odah, when he should done better with his effort.
Enaholo denied Wolves the equaliser when he saved on one-on-one situation from Okoyoh Michael in the 61st minute.
The previously quiet Taiwo Awoniyi bombarded his way past the Wolves defence line, only for his shot to be saved after a goal mouth scramble.
Coach Paul Aigbogun decided to introduce the energetic Kelvin Itoya, who gave the Flying Eagles defenders some sorts of problem with his direct approach.
In the 80th minute, Awoniyi was put through on goal, but he had a mountain in the reliable Odah.
The busy Itoya continued to probe the U20 team. He set up his strike partner Ezenwa Otorugu, whose effort was off target.
In a bid to increase the tally, the Flying Eagles embarked on a tiki-taka session, and the ball ended up at the feet of Awoniyi, who rattled the bar with his low shot.
Despite the late surge by the Wolves side, the U20 team held on to win 1-0, their third win in three matches.