30 YEARS AFTER, FLYING EAGLES FLY TO SAUDI ARABIA

BY KUNLE SOLAJA

Fond memories of Nigeria’s U-20 exploits at the 1989 FIFA World Championship, now renamed FIFA U-20 World Cup will be evoked as the Nigerian side travel to Saudi Arabia for a friendly encounter.

Nigeria and Saudi Arabia played in the opening match of the tournament 30 years ago. It remains the team’s best outing to date, as they got to the final but lost to Portugal.

Nigeria will face Saudi Arabia on Tuesday January 22. When both met at the sumptuous King Fahd Stadium in Riyadh, Nigeria beat the hosts, 2-1.

To be recalled was the curling free kick by Nigeria’s Christopher Ohenhen which not only provided the winner, it was the 500th goal in the competition’s history.

Ohenhen went on to score some other goals in the tournament through free kick, which turned to be a trademark for him.

The Soviets in distraught after squandering four goals in the epic match with Nigeria

It was also in Saudi Arabia that Nigeria produced the famous comeback after being four goals down to the then Soviet Union in the quarterfinals played in Damman.