Flying Eagles play draw against Nurnberg U23s


Nigeria U20s drew 1-1 with Nurnberg U23 team in a test game on Wednesday as part of the build-up to the U20 World Cup in Turkey.

President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Aminu Maigari, watched the game played at the Nurnberg training ground.

He charged the Flying Eagles to prepare well so as to win the U20 World Cup.

“This is a good start. I’m impressed but we must work harder because we are going to the World Cup,” Maigari implored the team.

“Expectations are high because the glory days are back for Nigeria after the Super Eagles set the pace.

“We have ensured that you prepare very well here in Germany and France. We will fully support you to achieve your target at the World Cup in Turkey.

“The coach has promised us the World Cup and you are in a good position to be world champions.”

Skipper Abduljaleel Ajagun promised the NFF president they will fly Nigeria’s flag very high at the World Cup.

Nurnberg took the lead in the 57th minute through big striker Colar Antonio, who simply tapped home after the Flying Eagles defence was beaten.

The Flying Eagles drew level in the 81st minute through Chidi Osuchukwu, who latched on to a low drive by Bright Ejike from the left to make hay.

It was an experimental team that started the game for the Flying Eagles, but by the second half most of the first-teamers came on to prove their class and but for some woeful finishing would have won the game as Nurnberg appeared to tire out.

Flying Eagles starting XI: Sabestin Osigwe – Moses Orkuma (Shehu Abdullahi 53), Collins Jamilu, Hassan Abubakar (Agboyi Ovboka 50), Chizoba Amaefule, Semilogo Ajayi (Ikechukwu Okorie 46), Solomon Theopoli (Daniel Etor 23), Eduok Samuel (Chidi Osuchukwu 44), Obubu Solomon (Abduljaleel Ajagun 40), Nwagua Nyima (Umar Aminu 50), Kayode Olanrewaju (Bright Ejike 70).

Nigeria U20s have been drawn against Brazil and 2013 World Cup rivals Portugal in this year’s Toulon tournament, which kicks off May 28.

The Flying Eagles are in Group B of the 10-team tournament and kick off their campaign on May 29 against defending champions Mexico.

Nigeria lost 4-1 to Mexico in another invitational tournament in Panama preparatory to the 2011 World Cup in Colombia, where the Flying Eagles reached the quarter-finals.

They battle world champions Brazil, who incidentally failed to qualify for the FIFA U20 World Cup in Turkey next month, on June 4.

Their final group game is against Portugal on June 6.

Interestingly, the Flying Eagles will open their 2013 World Cup quest on June 21 in Kayseri against the Portuguese.

In 2011, Nigeria held Portugal to a goalless draw in Lisbon, before they lost to the same team 2-0 in a pre-World Cup tournament in Panama.

Portugal will go on to reach the World Cup final, where they lost to Brazil.

The Flying Eagles will also face Belgium on June 2.

Group A has United States of America, Colombia, Congo DR, France and South Korea, who are also in the same World Cup group with Nigeria.

The winners of both groups will slug it out in the final on June 8 with the runners-up to battle for the third-place medal.

Most of the teams at the Toulon tournament are bound for the World Cup in Turkey.



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