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Bosso plots Flying Eagles’ first-ever U-20 World Cup win over Brazil

FLYING Eagles head coach Ladan Bosso is confident the team will sustain their winning mentality when they face Brazil in tomorrow’s final match of Group D at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in La Plata, Argentina.

Nigeria lead the group with six points from two matches and would win the group if they draw with the five-time champions, who are second in the group.

But, even with a draw enough to seal top spot, Bosso is aiming for Nigeria’s first win ever over Brazil in the competition.

“Yes, we acknowledge that Brazil have always been a hard nut to crack for our team at this level,” Bosso said today while previewing the match.

“We have lost a number of matches to them over the decades, but there is always a first time. We are riding on a wave of robust confidence and though we do not underrate them, we certainly do not fear them.

“We have been able to fulfil 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.”

NFF General Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, who is with the two-time World Cup silver medallists in Argentina, stated today his belief that the Flying Eagles have the capacity to win and top their Group D.

“Presently, Nigeria is the only team with six points in the group. Italy can beat Dominican Republic and also go to six points,” Sanusi explained.

“So, with the minimum of a draw against Brazil, we will top the group. It is important to top the group and also to sustain our spirit of winning.”

The 53,000-capacity Estadio Ciudad de La Plata, close to Buenos Aires, is the venue for the big clash as Brazil seek victory to be sure of a place in the round of 16.

Brazil defeated the Flying Eagles 3-0 in Nigeria’s first appearance at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1983.

Two years later, the South Americans again defeated Nigeria 2-0 in the semi-finals, and went ahead to lift the trophy while the Flying Eagles beat hosts Soviet Union on penalties to clinch the bronze medal.

In 1987, in Chile, Brazil thrashed the Flying Eagles 4-0 in their opening game and the Nigerians never recovered from the embarrassing defeat, crashing out in the group stages.

At their last meeting, both teams battled to a 0-0 draw in their opening match of Group F at the 2005 edition in The Netherlands, with Nigeria finishing ahead of Brazil (silver medal as against Brazil’s bronze) at the end of the championship.

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