Nigeria, Italy struggle for early knock out stage qualification at Argentina 2023

Date:

Share:

BY KUNLE SOLAJA.

When the Nigeria Flying Eagles face Italy in the Match Day 2 of the Group D of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina on Wednesday, it is more than just the struggle for the headship of the group. For the Flying Eagles, it an opportunity to avenge the defeat that Italy inflicted on their ancestors.

At Concepcion, Chile in 1987, Italy beat Nigeria 2-0.That was the only other fixture that paired Nigeria and Italy at the U-20 level. Thirty six years down the line, they are both at it again in South America.

While Italy had the edge in 1987, the Flying Eagles however have a better record at the U20 level having previously featured 12 times as against seven by Italy.

Besides, Italy’s best outing had been getting the third position obtained in 2017.Nigeria on the other hands had played the championship match twice but ending up as runners up in 1989 and 2005.

Advertisement

UEFA

The Italians are competing for the third successive edition. A win by either Nigeria or Italy will guarantee qualification to the next stage by the winner.

Italy have qualified from their group in each of their last five appearances . The last time they failed to make it beyond the group stage was in 1981.

For the records, the first goal in the history of the tournament was scored by Italy’s Luigi Capuzzo in a 1-1 draw against Côte d’Ivoire in 1977.

Nigeria have more FIFA U-20 World Cup participations to their name than any other African nation.

The Flying Eagles made history in 1989, when they became the first African team to reach the final of this competition. They also progressed all the way through to the tournament decider in 2005, when they were denied glory by two Lionel Messi penalties.

Advertisement

UEFA

Overall, Nigeria have reached the knockout stages in ten of their 12 FIFA U-20 World Cup campaigns.

The last time they featured at the finals and failed to qualify from their group was all the way back in 1987.

Subscribe to our magazine

━ more like this

AFCON 2023 Countdown: Cote d’Ivoire may turn back some Nigerians over travel passports

BY KUNLE SOLAJA. Nigerians holding the ECOWAS Travel Certificates and going for the Africa Cup of Nations next month are certain...

Namibia trainer Benjamin names list of 28 players

Namibia will make its fourth African Cup of Nations appearance Coach Collin Benjamin has called up 28 players The Brave Warriors...

Guinea coach Diawara names 25-man squad for AFCON

Guinea will be making its 13th  African Cup of Nations appearance Coach Kaba Diawara has called up 25 players Syli National...

Mozambique coach Conde announces 23-man squad

Mozambique will make their fifth  African Cup of Nations appearance Coach Chiquinho Condé has called up 23 players The Mambas placed...

Osimhen extends contract with Napoli till 2026

Nigerian international forward Victor Osimhen has signed a contract extension with Napoli until 2026, the Serie A champions announced on Saturday....
spot_img

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here