U17 World Cup favourites the Golden Eaglets had to stage a late comeback to beat Hungary 4-2 in their opening Group B match inside Estadio Olympico in Goiania tonight.
Hungary looked to be holding on to their 2-1 lead from the first half before central defender Usman Ibrahim drew Nigeria level in the 79th minute when he rose highest to nod home from a corner.
A minute later, Oluwatimilehin Adeniyi put the Eaglets in front for the very first time when he nodded home from the far post.
Skipper Samson Tijani completed a superb comeback with a wonderfully crafted free kick five minutes from time.
This was a befitting reward for the unrelenting pressure the Nigerian youngsters exerted on Hungary especially in the second half.
The Eaglets chased the game after the interval as they virtually camped in the half of Hungary.
They resorted to shots from distance as their opponents kept their defensive shape and frustrated them.
Goalkeeper Hagyi blocked a header by substitute Ibraheem Jabaar in the 77th minute as Hungary continued to hold on to their slender lead.
Minutes later, Ikenna saw his effort crash against the side netting.
The introduction of Akinkunmi Amoo was an inspired one as he brought creativity and drive to the attack to turn the game around.
Hungary took the lead after just three minutes courtesy of a simple finish by Gyorgy Komaromi, who stabbed home a cross from the left which the shaky Nigeria defence failed to deal with.
In the 18th minute, Wisdom Ubani was brought down inside the box and skipper Samson Tijani leveled scores from the penalty spot.
The Eaglets continued to surge forward, but it was Hungary who restored their lead in the 28th minute, when a defensive slip allowed Samuel Major to fire past goalkeeper Daniel Jinadu from the edge of the box.
Top striker Ubani was lively and direct before he was forced out with what looked like a serious injury, while skipper Tijani marshaled the midfield for the Eaglets to enjoy more of the possession in the first period.
Eaglets Starting XI vs Hungary
16 Daniel Jinadu – 2 Oluwatimilehin Adeniyi 5 Clement Ikenna 3 Charles Etim 6 Ibrahim Usman – 4 Samson Tijani 8 Hamzat Ojediran 15 Monsuru Opeyemi 20 ( Akinkunmi Amoo 57) Ibrahim Sa’id (Francis Daniel 90) – 9 Wisdom Ubani (Ibraheem Jabaar 75) 7 Olakunle Olusegun