Nigeria’s U-20 men’s internationals continued their winning streak at the 2015 Glo Premier League Super 4 with a 1-0 defeat of Warri Wolves on Wednesday.
Flying Eagles skipper Musa Muhammed scored the match-winning goal a couple of minutes after the restart, when he rose high to connect with a free-kick inside the box and then tucked the ball inside the net with a glancing header.
The win increased the side’s tally to 9 points and currently sits at the summit of the standings.
Coach Manu Garba made four changes to the team that started in Monday’s 2-1 win over Kano Pillars, with Joshua Enaholo returning in goal in place of Ojo Olorunleke while talismanic playmaker Abdullahi Alfa started in place of Ifeanyi Ifeanyi.
Wolves likewise rang up four changes to the side that lost 1-0 to Enyimba. Goalkeeper Okiemute Odah and ex-Enyimba midfielder, Michael Okoyoh made their first start in the pre-season tournament.
The match started with tribute to former Super Eagles goalkeeper Wilfred Agbonavbare who died yesterday following a long battle with cancer.
Both sides got off to a decent start and Eagles’ goalie Enaholo was called into action in the 8th minute, tipping over a Joseph Osadiaye shot after a pass from Abu Azeez.
With two wins already in the kitty against top 2 Glo Premier League sides, the youth internationals struggled to reawaken their fluid passing game. They however did ask few questions of Wolves defence, with Suleiman Abdullahi’s effort cleared off the goaline six minutes after the half-hour mark.
Roland Silas had the ball in the net three minutes to the break only for referee Ndubuisi Ukah to cut his celebration short, leaving the contest deadlocked after 45 minutes.
Muhammed pulled Eagles ahead soon after the restart to restore confidence back in the coach Garba team’s play and gait in their attack.
Wolves’ Okiemute was caught out in his area in an attempt to clear the ball on 57 minutes as Taiwo Awoniyi shielded him off the ball but the forward’s attempt to wreck further havoc was cleared by defender David Eyimofe.
Enaholo was clever about gathering a deflected shot by Wolves’ Michael Okoyoh just after the hour mark before Okiemute made a one-handed save on Awoniyi’s shot. Awoniyi was sent through on goal but failed to beat Okiemute with ten minutes left to play for.
Wolves substitute Ezenwa Otorogu’s deft flick following Kelvin Itoya’s effort missed target by a glimmer.
Awoniyi watched his sidefooted shot come off the upright and that was the last real opportunity of the match.
The defeat means Caf Confederation Cup-bound Wolves are winless in three straight matches in the pre-season.