The Flying Eagles of Nigeria qualified for the quarter-final of the FIFA U-20 World Cup by beating host Argentina 2-0 at the Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario in the early hours of Thursday.
The victory was the first time Nigeria beat Argentina at that level. The Flying Eagles edged past Argentina through second-half goals from Ibrahim Muhammad and Rilwanu Sarki.
Ladan Bosso’s team will face either Ecuador or South Korea in the quarter-final of the competition in Santiago del Estero on Sunday.
Despite staring on the front foot, the Flying Eagles allowed La Albiceleste to dominate play as the first half wore on.
Argentina had goal-scoring chances but striker Alejo Veliz missed those sitters.
His first chance, a glancing header went narrowly wide in the 14th minute while his second attempt before the break was saved by Kingsley Aniagboso who was in goal for Nigeria.
The Flying Eagles broke the deadlock in the 61st minute, through Emmanuel Umeh when he flicked the ball over the top for Muhammad, who slotted home a low shot past goalkeeper Federico Gerth.
The opening goal prompted Argentina to push higher up the peach searching for an equalizer and registered 20 shots at goal as against Nigeria’s nine.
Javier Mascherano’s boys came agonisingly close when Luka Romero’s low drive from a distance hit the upright of the post for Daniel Bameyi to put the ball to safety.
Substitute Victor Eletu came off the bench for Ibrahim Muhammad in additional time, to make an assist for Haliru Sarki to score Nigeria’s second on the night and secure a famous triumph for Nigeria for the first time in the competition since 2005.
The win meant Nigeria got a win over Argentina after Argentina enjoyed a run of 10 straight U-20 World Cup victories against the Flying Eagles.
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