U-23 AFCON: Nigeria Top Group After Nervy Win Over Mali

By James Agberebi:

The U-23 Eagles defeated Mali 3-2 in a nervy Group B CAF U-23 Cup of Nations opener.

Junior Ajayi put the Eagles in front in the 16th minute when he back-heeled past the Malian keeper after Taiwo Awoniyi's initial miss.

The Eagles made it 2-0 on 34 minutes through Usman Mohammed who smashed in a cutback from Seth Sincere.

With one minute into first half added time, Ajayi grabbed his second goal after the Malian keeper spilled Azubuike Okechukwu's initial shot.

Mali made it 3-1 in the 55th minute after Adama Niane converted from the penalty spot.

In the 65th minute, Souleymane Sissoko scored Mali's second goal after a mix-up in the Eagles defence.

The Malians went all out for the equaliser but were unlucky on several occasions.

The win sees the Eagles top Group B with three points after Egypt's draw with Algeria.

Nigeria will take on Egypt in their next game on Wednesday. 

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