FIFA U-20 World Cup: Nigeria Bag Round Of 16 Ticket

  • Humble Italy 2-0 to lead Group D with six points

BY VICTOR OSOWOCHI – Nigeria’s Flying Eagles needed two second-half goals to secure a round-of-16 ticket at the ongoing FIFA Under-20 World Cup tournament in Argentina.

The Group D matchday two encounters played at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas in Mendoza, Provincia de Mendoza on Wednesday, saw the Nigerians shoving aside the Italian challenge in their top-of-the-table clash.

On the night, the Italians were no pushovers as they threatened early in the second half but Nigeria’s defenders cleared the ball off the line as it looked to trickle in after a sweet interplay by the Europeans.

interestingly, Nigeria reacted well and captain Bameyi stung the goalkeeper’s palms with a stinging strike from 25 yards. However, it was Lawal Salem Fago who started the qualification moves when his diving header from a right-wing pull-out in the 61st minute rested perfectly well in the Italians’ net.

Sunday Jude put the game beyond Italy’s reach in the 90+5 minute stoppage time and Nigeria held on for the win 2-0 despite a late Montevago header that keeper Aniagboso had to save on the second attempt

Goal scorer Fago celebrates

With the victory, Coach Ladan Bosso’s side has now progressed to the quarter-final of the tournament, amassing two wins from as many games.

The second Group match between Brazil and Dominican Republic is already in the second half with the South Americans leading by 2-0. The two goals came in quick succession in the 37th and 38th minutes respectively

They have a date with the tournament’s five times winners, Brazil on Saturday, May 27, 2023, in the last group D match while Italy will take on Dominican Republic at the same time.

In their Group C encounter, African Under-20 champions Senegal failed to improve in their performance as they could only draw 1-1 with Israel. Having lost their first match 0-1 against Japan, the Senegalese must beat Colombia on Saturday to have a chance of advancing in this tournament

The Israelis opened the scoring in La Plata in the 58th minute with an own goal by Babacar Ndiaye. However, Pape Demba Diop equalized in the 80th minute to save the day for the West Africans

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