The Eaglets won though substitute Light Eke casually lost the penalty kick awarded to Nigeria two minutes into additional time.
Favour Daniel scored the only goal on Sunday as Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets got off to a winning start over Zambia in their first game at the Africa U17 Cup of Nations taking place in Algeria.
Daniel struck powerfully past the Zambian goal-tender from a goalmouth scramble 14 minutes to the end of the game.
His solitary strike gave Nigeria all three points in a largely average encounter that opened the campaign in Group B.
It was coach Nduka Ugbade’s boys that dominated for the larger part of the game at Stade Mohamed Hamlaoui
However, the team was undone by their ineffective short passes and poor shooting in front of the goal which denied them a comprehensive win over the Zambian team that failed to bite.
Both teams hit the woodwork in the first period and Abubakar Abdullahi saw his efforts saved twice as Nigeria piled on the pressure.
The five-time world champions were handed a late opportunity for a two-goal win going into their clash with Morocco on Wednesday but substitute Light Eke casually lost the penalty kick awarded two minutes into additional time.
Thankfully, the miss did not avoid the outcome even as Nigeria defender Yahaya Lawali was named Man of the Match.
The Golden Eaglets will be up against Morocco on Wednesday evening before they play South Africa in their final match of Group B on Saturday.
Two-time African champions Nigeria are hoping for a third crown in Algeria while also having their eyes on qualifying for the World Cup.
The four top-placed teams at the 12-nation finals will represent Africa at this year’s FIFA U17 World Cup.