U20 World Cup: Nigeria beat Italy 2:0, qualify for next round

The Flying Eagles of Nigeria moved to the rounds of 16 of the 2023 U20 World Cup with a game to spare after beating Italy 2-0 in Mendoza on Wednesday night. 

Italy enjoyed more ball possession in the first half of the intriguing encounter, but Nigeria were more dangerous going forward and created more chances. 

Jude Sunday fired a low shot in the 27th minute, which missed the target by a whisker, while Salim Fago was denied a goal by the Italian goalkeeper four minutes later. 

VAR overturned a penalty awarded against the Flying Eagles in the 36th minute, after it ruled that an Italian player had handled the ball in the move leading to the award of the spot kick. 

Nigeria goalkeeper, Chijioke Aniagboso after that kept out a stinging shot in stoppage time of the first half as both teams went into the dressing room level at 0-0. 

Nigeria broke the deadlock in the 60th minute through Salim Fago Lawal after he found the net with a diving header off a cross by Emmanuel Umeh.

Jude Sunday then doubled Nigeria’s advantage in stoppage time when he got on the end of a long thrust by goalkeeper Chijioke Aniagboso, outran his marker before he slotted home. 

Flying Eagles with the win now top Group D with six points from two matches, while Italy dropped to second on three points after playing the same number of games. 

Brazil and the Dominican Republic will do battle later tonight after both teams lost their opening group game.

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