Nigeria’s Flying Eagles were on Sunday held to a 1-1 draw by Cote d’Ivoire in their group B opener of the WAFU U-20 tournament in the Benin Republic.
The Ladan Bosso tutored boys dominated the game but were less clinical in front of goal before being reduced to 10-men in the second half.
The highly entertaining game between the bitter West African rivals ended goalless in the first half.
However, Chris Nweze put the seven-time African champions ahead in the 65th minute with an assist from former Golden Eaglets winger Wisdom Ubani.
However, the Nigerian team was reduced to 10 men in the 75th minute as goal scorer Nweze was shown the red card.
The hard-fighting Junior Elephant of Cote d’Ivoire leveled the game in the 90th minute to secure a vital point.
Nigeria’s next game is against Ghana on Dec.9.
With this shaky start, Nigeria’s next game is a must-win, to have any hope of proceeding to the next round.
The winner of the WAFU U-20 Zone B tournament will qualify automatically for the 2021 CAF U-20 AFCON in Mauritania.
On Saturday, Niger Republic shocked host Benin Republic 1-0, while Togo and Burkina Faso encounter ended 1-1 in Group A.