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FIFA U-20 World Cup

Nigerian youngsters impress in FIFA U20 World Cup group stage

Published at :May 28, 2023 at 12:44 AM
Modified at :May 28, 2023 at 12:44 AM
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Aditya Chauhan

Even a draw in their final match will guarantee them a top spot

The FIFA U20 World Cup acts like a breakthrough tournament for some of the stars. These players are considered to be the future stars of their country. The 2023 edition of the tournament is currently going on and has reached the final matches of the group stage. Every team leading their groups has a 100% record. One such team is Nigeria's U20 team. They lead their group and are on the brink of topping it.

The Nigeria U20 team was placed in a tough group with Brazil, Italy, and the Dominican Republic. All these teams have played two matches in Group D, and Nigeria are the only team with a 100% record. However, their qualification is still not guaranteed. The African nation needs at least a point against Brazil to confirm the top spot. If they lose, then there is also a chance of qualification.

The team managed by Isah Ladan Bosso started their campaign against the Dominican Republic and secured a 2-1 win. The Dominican Republic U20 team scored the first goal of the match. The African side was gifted an own goal soon after conceding the first one. Samson Lawal scored the winner in the 70th minute and gave a perfect start to his team in the tournament.

Their second match was against much better opponents on paper. Nigeria's U20 side faced Italy's U20 side in a crucial match. Both teams played a goalless first half. Samson Lawal once again showed his class and scored his second goal of the tournament at the hour mark. Jude Sunday added another goal right towards the end to secure a 2-0 win for his side.

Nigeria's last goal in the group stage is to at least secure a point against the Brazilian side. This is a must-win game for the South American team. Nigeria U20 will secure the top spot if they even take a point.

Key Players

Samson Lawal

The 19-year-old attacking midfielder has already made his mark in the tournament. He is the top goal scorer for Nigeria U20, with two to his name. Samson Lawal plays for the Nigerian club Katsina United FC. With the transfer window opening in the big European league next month, he will look to add more goals and come into the limelight.

Victor Eletu

The 18-year-old plays as a central midfielder for Nigeria U20 and AC Milan's U20 side. He is the only player in the side who is playing in Europe. Eletu will look to lead his side successfully to their first title.

Chijoke Aniagboso

Nigeria U20 No. 1 choice in the goal kept a crucial clean sheet against the Italy U20 team. He has made five saves combined in both matches and even assisted for the second goal against Italy.

This is Nigeria's 13th appearance in the FIFA U20 World Cup. They were the runners-up in the 1989 and 2005 seasons. Now they are looking forward to winning their first U20 tournament.