The Golden Eaglets started their 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup campaign on a positive note by pulling off one of the most dramatic comebacks, beating Hungary 4-2 in a bruising, barnstorming encounter that set pulses racing at the Estadio Olimpico, Goiania.
Nigeria, one of the favourites for the tournament were 2-1 down at interval.
But a Ibrahim Usman’s goal eleven minutes before regulation gave them hope.
Efforts from Oluwatimilehin Adeniyi and Samson Tijani completed an extraordinary, morale boosting recovery.
This was the stuff of fairytale as the tension ratcheted up with each minute played.
Nigeria are an acknowledged powerhouse of the U17 game defeated Hungary 3-1 in the 1985 edition of the competition.
This is the sort of win that can build confidence and restore self belief.
The six-time champions have always believed they could challenge for the title, but their poor defending almost cost them.
This will go a long way to killing off those narratives.
Hungary certainly began brightly, dominating possession and playing with an intensity.
This was a more cohesive unit, pressing high and not allowing the Nigerians, who so often rely on moments of individual skill and expression from their star players, to settle on the ball.
The Nigerians looked to impose themselves on the game right from the outset, although they were given an early shocker when George Komaroni put the European side ahead.
After that, the Golden Eaglets made the running, with Tijani working hard in midfield to win the ball and create opportunities.
The Eaglets did capitalised on their possession when Wisdom Ubani was fouled in the box.
Tijani stepped up to dispatch his effort from the penalty spot in the 20th minute.
Eight minutes later, Samuel Major put his side back in front again.
The Eaglets got back on level terms in the 79th minute after Usman nodded home a cross.
Nigeria grew in confidence after their goal and began to get more into the game.
Adeniyi and the mercurial Tijani completed the winning comeback for Nigeria.