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U-20 World Cup: Flying Eagles cruise past Italy into round of 16

THE Flying Eagles have secured passage into the knockout rounds of the FIFA U-20 World Cup following a 2-0 win over Italy in Mendoza, Argentina tonight.

Salim Fago and Daniel Sunday struck in the second half to hand Nigeria their second win in two games, which took them to the top of Group D.

Italy had beaten five-time champions Brazil in their opening match on Sunday and were favourites to win tonight, but Ladan Bosso’s team had other ideas.

The Flying Eagles took the game to the Italians from kick-off and had more possession, more attempts and more shots on target in an impressive display that was an improvement on their 2-1 win over Dominican Republic on Sunday.

After testing the Italian goalkeeper with a few shots, Nigeria took the lead just past the hour mark when Fago headed home from a crisp cross.

The Flying Eagles continued to create chances after taking the deserved lead and they were rewarded in the fifth minute into eight minutes of stoppage time.

Sunday latched on to a long punt from goalkeeper Chijioke Aniagboso, outran his marker and placed the ball past the Italy goalkeeper to seal the three points.

The Flying Eagles face Brazil next in La Plata on Saturday in their final group game, in which a draw would ensure they win the group.

Whatever the result of their clash with Brazil, Nigeria cannot finish lower than third in the group, and with six points already in the bag, they would be one of the best third-placed teams going into the round of 16.

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Naija Times