The Flying Eagles confidence is sky high after two straight wins at the U20 World that they have resolved to end a losing run to the five-time world champions in Argentina.
Brazil have won three of the four meetings against Nigeria at this tournament.
The Young Samba Stars defeated the Flying Eagles 3-0 in Nigeria’s first participation at the FIFA U20 World Cup (then known as FIFA World Youth Championship) in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1983.
The result was the only reason Nigeria, who had beaten the Soviet Union in a first match and subsequently drew 0-0 with The Netherlands, failed to make the knockout stage.
Two years later, the Brazilians ran out 2-0 winners over Nigeria in the semi-finals, and went ahead to lift the trophy, while the Flying Eagles defeated host Soviet Union on penalties to clinch the bronze medals.
In 1987, in Chile, Brazil walloped the Flying Eagles 4-0 in their opening game and the Nigerians boys never recovered from the stunning defeat.
However, both teams battled to a scoreless draw in their opening match of Group F at the 2005 finals in The Netherlands, with Nigeria finishing ahead of Brazil (silver medal as against Brazil’s bronze) at the end of the championship.
Coach Ladan Bosso has promised to take the fight to Brazil in La Plata tomorrow night in a final Group D game, whose result could decide the overall group winners.
“Yes, we acknowledge that Brazil has always been a hard nut to crack for our team at this level. We have lost a number of matches to them over the decades, but there is always a first time,” Bosso said.
“We are riding on a wave of robust confidence and though we do not under-rate them, we certainly do not fear them.
“We have been able to fulfill our first objective for this championship: getting to the knockout stages. We will take it one match at a time from now onwards.
“We don’t want to take it easy and lose against Brazil; that will not be good for our winning mentality.”
Nigeria only need a draw from this encounter to finish top of the pool.
Leave a Reply