Nigeria defeated old foes, Argentina, on Wednesday night to move into the quarterfinal of the FIFA U-20 World Cup; a feat they last achieved in 2011.
The Abliceleste as the Argentines are called were defeated 2-0 by the Flying Eagles courtesy of goals from Ibrahim Muhammad in the 61st minute and a last minute header from substitute Haliru Sarki in front of a partisan 27,000-strong crowd.
While not many Nigerians we’re optimistic about Ladan Bosso-led boys’ chances as captured by their third place finish in Group D despite leading the group until matchday 3. But on Wednesday, they displayed a defensive masterclass at the San Juan Stadium that won them a quarterfinal berth.
Bosso said after the record-breaking victory, “We stuck to our game plan, and we got it right,” he revealed while applauding the tactical discipline of his boys.
The coach further added that the victory over Argentina was similar to their adventurous journey at the U20 Nations Cup in Egypt where they denied the host nation qualification to the next round.
With the next game against either Ecuador or South Korea, Bosso concluded his boys will approach the quarterfinal with the same style.
“The next plan is to go all out. Losing in the quarterfinals is the same thing as not qualifying. So the way we approached this game, we’d approach the quarterfinal.”
Goal dedicated to the new president
The Flying Eagles left for Argentina before the President Bola Tinubu-led government was sworn-in. An elated Ibrahim Muhammad who scored the first goal for Nigeria, dedicated his 61st minute strike to President Tinubu.
“I feel so happy, and I am happy to score a goal and I dedicate my goal to our new president, Honourable Ahmed Bola Tinubu, and I really appreciate my teammates for their efforts to win.”
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