Nigeria’s male U-20 national team, the Flying Eagles, have the daunting task of facing host Argentina in the second round as they seek a quarterfinal ticket.
The Coach Ladan Bosso-tutored side relinquished their number-one position in Group D on the last day of group stage action. They, however, progressed to the knockout phase as one of the best losers, having finished in third place after Brazil and Italy claimed the first two places.
The game is scheduled for Wednesday, 31 May at San Juan Stadium.
Tough luck for Flying Eagles
Aside from being the hosts with guaranteed massive home support, Argentina are also the most successful nation in FIFA U-20 World Cup history, with six titles to their name.
The South American nation were very dominant from 1995 to 2007 when they remarkably won five out of the seven editions of the U20 World Cup during this period.
The Flying Eagles will have to be at their best to neutralise Argentina’s home support and firepower. Past Argentina U-20 squads have produced remarkable players like Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi.
In their group games, Argentina won all three games against Uzbekistan, Guatemala, and New Zealand; scoring 10 goals while conceding just once.
This is in contrast to the Flying Eagles, who scored just four and conceded three in the group stage. While the game could go either way, Bosso will need to get his boys up to speed if they are to navigate past the Argentines.
The winner of Wednesday’s Round of 16 tie will face either Ecuador or the Korea Republic in the quarter-final
Meanwhile, the other Round of 16 pairings involving African teams will see Tunisia face Brazil, while Gambia have a date with Uruguay. Reigning Africa U-20 champions, Senegal did not make it out of the group stage.
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