The Flying Eagles shot to the top of Group A at the 21stAfrica Under-20 Cup of Nations in Niger Republic on Saturday by beating Burundi 2-0.
The victory came hours after host nation Niger Republic and South Africa drew 1-1 in the opening game of the tournament and also the group’s other match.
Nigeria’s national under-20 men’s team, seeking an eighth continental title, dominated in the first period but had nothing to show for their superior possession and onslaughts.
However, in the 55th minute, Yahaya Nazifi got the Flying Eagles in front, before the lively Effiom Maxwell made it two in the 71st minute.
Nigeria came close on a few other occasions as the match wore on, but there were to be no more goals on the night at the Stade Seyni Kountche in Niamey.
Saturday’s results mean the Flying Eagles will earn a spot in the competition’s semi-finals and a ticket to this summer’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup finals in Poland if they win again.
They take on South Africa on Tuesday evening in their second match in the group, while hosts Niger Republic face Burundi same day.
The Flying Eagles then clash with the hosts in what could be an explosive encounter at the Stade Seyni Kountche on Friday.
The championship continues on Sunday with matches in the all-West African Group B, where Senegal, Mali, Ghana and Burkina Faso battle it out.