U-20 World Cup: Flying Eagles to face uphill task against Brazil

U-20 World Cup: Flying Eagles to face uphill task against Brazil

There is no doubt that Nigeria’s men’s U-20 football team, the Flying Eagles, will indeed face an uphill task to subdue Brazil in the final round of Group D matches scheduled for Estadio Unico Diego Amando Maradona, Argentina, on Saturday, May 27, 2023, by 7:00 p.m. Nigerian time.U-20 World Cup: Flying Eagles to face uphill task against Brazil

The Flying Eagles are currently leading the group with 6 points after two convincing victories against the Dominican Republic (2-1) and Italy (2-0), while Brazil is second with 3 points in the group after walloping the Dominican Republic 6-0 and losing narrowly to Italy (2-3).

Brazil and the Flying Eagles are now in contention for the leadership of the group before the commencement of the round of 16 matches of the global U-20 football tournament.

This battle for group D leadership and Nigeria’s shocking victory against Italy have no doubt heightened the stakes for this last group match, particularly among the players, officials, and supporters of the two teams.

Brazilian U-20 team classic playmaker Matheus Martins dos Santos, simply known as Matheus Martins, told the media after the Flying Eagles 2-0 victory against Italy,

We have finalized our preparations for the final group match against Nigeria. We are hoping to go there and do our best to top the group. Remember, we are Brazil,” Martins boasted.

There is no doubt that Nigerian teams have in the past shown too much respect for Brazilian football teams; hence, the optimism of this 19-year-old Watford of England player, who is currently on loan to Italian Serie A team Udinese.

Mathieu Martins’ and Marcos Leonardo’s boots have accounted for Brazil’s three goals in the group stage of this football championship.

Marcos Leonardo scored Brazil’s two goals against Italy, while Mathieu Martins came in as a 77th-minute substitute for Marcos Leonardo to set up Brazil’s fourth goal against the Dominican Republic in the 82nd minute of the second half of the match.

He then scored Brazil’s sixth goal in the third minute of the second half extra time to complete Brazil’s 6-0 rout of the Dominican Republic in the second group D match on Wednesday, May 24, 2023.

The Flying Eagles must have their hands full and play with full concentration for the 90 minutes of this last group match in order to stop Marcos Leonardo and Matheus Martins from causing any damage to the team.

After all, “We are Nigeria.”

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About the Author

Obum Akawor
A retired Senior Civil Servant and sports journalist. A Fellow, Chartered Institute of Administration, FCAI.

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