Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau, the president of the Nigerian Football Federation, has praised the Flying Eagles for their outstanding 2-0 victory over Italy on Wednesday at the FIFA U20 World Cup.
In order to maintain their winning attitude against Brazil in their final group game, he has also urged the team to go for all three points.
The NFF president made his remarks shortly after the two-time World Cup silver medalists defeated Italy 2-0 in Mendoza to win Group D of the ongoing global festival in Argentina.
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The commanding performance left the Italians and their throngs of adoring fans at the Estadio Malvinas Argentina flustered and heartbroken.
The Italians overran Brazil with three goals in a ferocious first 45 minutes on Sunday, before the South Americans reduced the tally by two in the second period. Prior to the game, the oddsmakers put the match entirely in the Italians’ favor.
Salim Fago Lawal and Jude Sunday each scored two well-taken goals in the second half to give the African flagbearers more than they deserved on the night against the Flying Eagles as the quick Italians struggled to find their rhythm.
“I want you to celebrate but to quickly put this behind you and focus on the game against Brazil.
” Nigerians are proud of what you have achieved in qualifying for the knockout stages after only two matches.
” But we must sustain the winning mentality, so we have to go for victory against the Brazilians on Saturday.
“Once the winning mentality is sustained, we can go all the way.”
The Flying Eagles made it clear right away that they were there to do business when Salim Fago Lawal turned and shot from within the area, but the goalie saved it.
In the fourth minute, Italy’s Tommaso Baldanzi, who shone against Brazil, had one of his shots soar over goalkeeper Chijioke Aniagboso’s sticks, and another one go far away six minutes later.
Daniel Daga made an attempt to score on the other end, but the Italians rocked the Nigeria crossbar in the 20th minute following a fluid Baldanzi-planned play.
Fago Lawal and Daniel Bameyi got in behind the Italian defense, but there were no goals in the opening period.
After the restart, Italy attempted to break forward, but Abel Ogwuche, who excels in the middle of the defense, thwarted their efforts. In the 48th minute, Bameyi again rattled goalkeeper Sebastiano Desplanches.
Tochukwu Nnadi, a tenacious opponent, battled his way through the opposing defense and a stumble in the 62nd minute to create a quality cross that Fago Lawal expertly headed into the goal for Nigeria’s opening score.
With a fluid team play, Italy came near in the 84th minute, but substitute Daniele Montevago was unable to convert.
Jude Sunday scored Nigeria’s second goal well into extra time by latching onto a long blast that had nicely rebounded for him at the other end.
The Flying Eagles will play Brazil at La Plata on Saturday afternoon, and with a win, they will advance to the Round of 16 of the FIFA U20 World Cup.