Cotonou - Nigeria’s Flying Eagles suffered their first defeat when they fell 1-0 to hosts Benin in an African Youth Championship warm-up in Cotonou on Sunday.
Benin match winner was skipper Seibou Mama, who fired home past goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo in the 48th minute from distance.
It was the only shot on target by the home team, who started three Europe-based stars including Moise Adilehou from FC Porto.
The visiting Nigeria U20s thereafter piled on the pressure in search of an equaliser.
Outstanding goalkeeper Sheyi Damilola, one of several players with Nigerian roots, again ensured Benin recorded another famous win over Nigeria just after he stopped the Golden Eaglets at the WAFU B tournament in Togo.
The former Bolowotan FC of Lagos shot stopper made a double save after 55 minutes after Taiwo Awoniyi saw his shot crash against the post.
Wilfred Ndidi and substitute Kelechi Iheanacho also had openings to draw the Flying Eagles level but Damilola was at his best.
The Flying Eagles started the first half on the front foot with Alhassan Ibrahim aka Mu-azam first to shoot at goal after two minutes, but his shot screamed across the face of goal.
Benin full international coach Didier Olle-Nicolle and Eagles assistant coach Valere were in the stands to watch the match.
Awoniyi had two chances to score in the first 45 minutes with his miss in the 39th minute, when he was all alone, but he ballooned his lob well off the mark.
And a minute from half time, Musa Yahaya’s audacious effort narrowly missed target.
Flying Eagles vs Benin
Joshua Enaholo – Musa Muhammed (skipper), Mustapha Abdullahi, Wilfred Ndidi, Izu Omego – Akinjide Idowu, Ifeanyi Matthew, Abdullahi Alfa, Musa Yahaya (Kelechi Iheanacho 57) – Alhassan Ibrahim ‘Mu-azam’(Sulaiman Abdullahi 57, Chidiebere Nwakali 77)
Booking: Mustapha Abdullahi 28.
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