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Thursday, 25 May 2023 11:27

U-20 World Cup: Flying Eagles beat Italy to secure second round spot

Salim Fago Lawal’s diving header and Jude Sunday’s last-gasp finish earned Nigeria victory over Italy in an end-to-end encounter at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023.

The result left the Flying Eagles and the Azzurri on six and three points respectively after two games apiece in Group D before Brazil face Dominican Republic in the other group’s match last night

Victory sealed Flying Eagles’ spot in the Round of 16 and would now face Brazil in their last group SD match on Sunday.

Yesterday in Mendoza, both Nigeria and Italy had chances in the first half, with Tommaso Baldanzi testing the hands of Kingsley Aniagboso.

The opening goal arrived just after the hour. Half-time substitute Umeh Emmanuel and Gabriele Guarino collided inside the Italian box, but the latter sprang straight up and dinked the ball back across goal. Salim Fago Lawal flung himself into the air and headed into a semi-guarded net.

Thereafter, Nigeria’s admirable defending reduced Italy to shots from outside the box. Daniele Montevago had the best of them, but curled his effort wide.

Then, in stoppage time, the Nigerians made absolutely sure of the victory.

Goalkeeper Aniagboso got the assist, his punt up field finding the rampaging Sunday, who struck it across goal and into the bottom corner.

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