Cup holders Nigeria started their defence of the FIFA U-17 World Cup on a bright note as the Golden Eaglets bossed the United States of America 2-0 in the opening match of Group A at the 48,000 –capacity Estadio Nacional Julio Martinez Pradanos in Santiago.
The Eaglets knew they had to start the tournament on a winning note, after President Muhammadu Buhari sent them a message on Friday to ensure they win the trophy for a fifth time, as an end-of-year gift for Nigerians.
The African challenge got off to a fair start with Guinea drawing 1-1 with England, but the Golden Eaglets reminded the world who the masters are with a win that earns three vital points ahead of the clash with the host nation in Vina del Mar on Tuesday.
After a scoreless first half, Chukwudi Agor got the Eaglets, record four time champions, in front after only five minutes in the second half, and usual suspect Victor Osimhen added the second just after the hour mark.
The Americans were reduced to 10 men with three minutes to go when Trusty was given a red card. But it took nothing away from a well –deserved victory by the wards of Emmanuel Amuneke.
The Eaglets take on host nation Chile in Vina del Mar starting from 8pm Chile time (midnight in Nigeria) on Tuesday, and will round off their Group A account against Croatia in Coquimbo on Friday, also starting at midnight Nigeria time.
NFF President Amaju Pinnick praised the boys, saying victory in their first match of the tournament has given the Eaglets huge confidence to go all the way and make President Muhammadu Buhari and indeed all Nigerians proud.