We won’t fail, Flying Eagles vow
• Face Dominican Republic, Italy, Brazil
Players and officials of Nigeria’s U-20 team, the Flying Eagles, have vowed not to let the nation down as they begin their campaign in this year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup tomorrow in Argentina.
The Nigerians, who had their first training session in the city of Mendoza, Argentina, yesterday morning, fill face Dominican Republic in their first group match tomorrow. The team had arrived in Mendoza on Wednesday evening.
Nigeria secured their place in Argentina 2023 U-20 World Cup after finishing third at the African U-20 Cup of Nations in Egypt. They beat Tunisia 4-0 in their third-place match after losing to The Gambia in the semifinal.
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) had set up a pre-World Cup training camp for the Flying Eagles in Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina, where the team defeated an Argentine second-division team, Almirante, and battled out a 3-3 draw with fellow World Cup finalists, Colombia in friendlies.
The Flying Eagles touched down at the Aero Puerto International Airport, Mendoza, and were received by NFF’s Head of International Competitions, Dayo Enebi, and officials of the Local Organising Committee of the championship.
Bosso stated yesterday that he was happy with the Flying Eagles’ performance in their pre-World Cup friendly matches, particularly the 3-3 draw with Colombia.
He said that the team would not let Nigerians down in Argentina.
The Flying Eagles, who are making their 13th appearance at the FIFA U-20 World Cup, start their campaign against Dominican Republic tomorrow, then face the Italians three days later, before rounding off the group stage against Brazil on May 27.
The Flying Eagles have finished second twice in the tournament, at Saudi ’89 and Holland 2005, during the youth days of Mikel Obi.
Dominican Republic U20 National Team is making their inaugural appearance in a FIFA World Cup at any level, though the team is poised to make a strong impression.
Under the guidance of head coach Cuba Walter Benítez, they have defied expectations by qualifying for the tournament.
Brazil U20 National Team, known as the Seleção Sub-20, led by the experienced Ramon Menezes, enters the tournament with an impeccable track record.
Menezes has yet to taste defeat as the coach of Brazil U20, culminating in their recent triumph at the 2023 South American U-20 Championship in Colombia.
As the second most successful nation in U-20 World Cup history, Brazil boasts an impressive pedigree with five titles, four silver medals, and three bronze medals.
On its part, Italy U20 National team, nicknamed Gli Azzurrini, brings a rich footballing heritage to the tournament.
Headed by coach Carmine Nunziata, who steered them to consecutive silver medal finishes at the Under-17 European Football Championships in 2018 and 2019, Italy aims to make their mark on the world stage again.
The Italians have an overall record of 13 victories, eight draws, and 13 losses at the World Youth Championship.