The Flying Eagles are one of four African teams competing in the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina. The other three teams are Senegal, Gambia, and Tunisia. Nigeria finished third at the 2023 Africa U-20 Cup of Nations in Egypt earlier this year, and opinions are divided on how far the team can go in Argentina.
The Flying Eagles have been drawn in a tough group with five-time champions Brazil, European powerhouse Italy, and debutants Dominican Republic. However, Nigeria will be confident in their chances after adding some new players to the team. Coach Ladan Bosso has dropped some underperforming players from the U-20 AFCON squad, including Ochefu Ogbelu, Adams Olamilekan, and Ibrahim Mohammed. AC Milan teenager Victor Eletu is among the new invitees, and he will be one of the players to watch at the tournament.
The Flying Eagles showed their character in a friendly match against Colombia on Tuesday, rallying to a thrilling 3-3 draw. Nigeria will be hoping to build on that performance in Argentina. The team has made it to the final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup twice before, in 1989 and 2005, but they lost on both occasions. They also won a bronze medal in 1985. Nigeria has reached the quarterfinals of the tournament three times, but they have failed to progress beyond the Round of 16 in their last three appearances.
Experts are divided on Nigeria’s chances of winning the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Former Super Eagles winger Tijani Babangida believes that the Flying Eagles have the potential to do well in the tournament despite missing out on the U-20 AFCON final. He said that the team will be facing tougher opponents and quality coaches in Argentina, but he believes that they are up to the task. Former Enyimba defender Dare Ojo is also optimistic about Nigeria’s chances. He said that the team has a good mix of experience and youth, and he believes that they can navigate their way through a tough group and potentially excel in the knockout rounds.
As the FIFA U-20 World Cup is set to kick off today, May 20, all eyes will be on the Flying Eagles as they strive to make their mark and bring glory to Nigeria.
Reported By A.D.S