FIFA U20 World Cup: Nigeria Seek Last 16 Berth Against USA

Flying Eagles…in search of last 16 ticket

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles will today seek to overcome the United States in their search for a last 16 ticket at the ongoing FIFA World Youth championship in Poland

The Americans are heading into their Group D fixture against Nigeria knowing that a loss could literarily bury their chances of progressing to the last 16 round of the competition.

After that disappointing 2-1 loss to Ukraine in the group opener, the USA will go all out for the three points at stake in order to put their troubled showing at the tournament fully back on track.

But against a Nigerian side that got off to an impressive start in Poland, drowning Qatar 4-0 in the opening tie, the Yankees certainly have their hands full shaking off that false start, no thanks to Denys Popov’s second-half strike.

Inside the Bielsko-Biala Stadium in Poland, the Americans no doubt have an uphill task facing a confident Flying Eagles side that hit four goals without any reply past hapless Qatar in their opening game.

Victory for Paul Aigbogun’s boys in the encounter should hand them an early ticket to the knockout phase.

Gates of the Bielsko-Biala Stadium in Bielsko-Biała, Poland will be flung open at midday with fans having an opportunity to buy their tickets for the match that will be spiced with activities such as the locker room experience, photo booths and a pre-match music extravaganza.

The top two teams in each of the six U-20 World Cup groups advance automatically to the Round of 16. They will be joined by the four best-ranked third-placed teams in the groups.

The history books indicate that this encounter marks Nigeria and the USA’s second meeting at the Under-20 FIFA World Cup tournament.

At the 1989 World Youth Championship hosted by Saudi Arabia, the Flying Eagles shocked the Americans, running out 2-1 winners in extra time during their semi-finals meeting. That has remained USA’s best ever outing at the Under-20 World Cup.

Interestingly, Nigeria is making its 12th appearance at the FIFA U-20 World Cup and the country has advanced past the group stage in its last six appearances at the tournament.

  • Nigeria has placed second place at the U-20 World Cup twice, in 1989 after defeating the USA and in 2005 losing to Argentina in the finals;
  • Defender Ikouwem Udo debuted for Nigeria’s senior national team in March during a friendly against Egypt;
  • Midfielder Kingsley Michael helped Nigeria take home the 2015 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile;
  • In the Flying Eagles’ squad are 10 players born in 1999; seven born in 2000; three born in 2001; and one born in 2002.
  • Flying Eagles’ Defender Zulkifilu Rabiu is one of nine players born in 2002 in the entire tournament.
  • Twelve players compete domestically in Nigeria. Three of them are from Enyimba, one of Nigeria’s most successful clubs.
  • Nine Nigerian players are plying their trade in Europe. The list include: England (three), Italy (two), Norway (two), Czech Republic and Sweden (one each).

















– With agency report

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