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U-20 World Cup: Flying Eagles thrash Italy

Flying Eagles of Nigeria. Photo: Radio Nigeria Archive

Nigeria’s Under-20 men’s football team, the Flying Eagles, have thrashed the Under-20 Azzurris of Italy 2-0 in their second group match of the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina.

Speaking to a section of the sporting media moments after the Eagles’ victory, Sports and Youth Development Minister, Chief Sunday Dare said Nigeria must emulate the successful model of the Senegalese FA in youth football if the country is to reclaim its status as a power-house in the round-leather game in Africa and globally.

“The victory speaks to the situation that there’s no killing the Nigerian spirit,” he said. “The score-line shows the strength of this team we had doubts in their ability. Hope this team will continue in this light in Argentina and subsequently graduate to the Super Eagles,” an excited Chief Dare posited.

After coming from a goal down to edge the Dominican Republic 2-1, the Ladan Bosso-tutored side have now punched a ticket to the quarter-finals with a match against Brazil to spare.

Nigeria’s best showing in this tournament came in Saudi Arabia in 1989 when the team coached by Tunde Disu lost at the final 0-2 to a star-studded Portugal side; and in 2005, when Samson Siasia’s well-oiled side fell 1-2 to Argentina that was led by the mercurial Lionel Andres Messi.

Reporting by Chinedum Ohanusi; Editing by Oluwaseyi Ajibade and Tony Okerafor