BY KUNLE SOLAJA
When the Nigeria Golden Eaglets take on Ecuador this Tuesday night atthe Estadio Olimpico, Goiania in Brazil, it will be the first time ever that both teams will clash since the under-aged football competition was institutionalized by FIFA some 34 years ago.
Also, if the record-extension seeking Nigerian side maintains their perfect run as they go into their second match of the series, they will be the first among the 24 teams to get into the Round of 16.
A win will give Nigeria six points, confining the Ecuadorian sides to three points while the other match of the group involving Australia and Hungary can only make a winner of that encounter get three points.
But there is a big caution. The Golden Eaglets could run into stormy weather if they open slowly and sloppily as they did against Hungary on Saturday.
The Ecuadorians make hays early in their matches. For instance in their opening game with Australia on Saturday night/Sunday morning, the La Tri of Ecuador netted twice in the first nine minutes to outpace Australia.
If the Golden Eaglets should give them such opportunity, it may be disastrous.
The match with Ecuador is potentially the most challenging for the Golden Eaglets.
Information has it that a bond exists between many Ecuadorian players and that extends beyond sharing the privilege of donning their country’s colours.
Eight who saw the pitch during the team’s Brazil 2019 debut are also also rising through the ranks at Independiente del Valle. Located in the Quito suburb of Sangolqui, Los Negriazules have a penchant for surprising South American powerhouses; they outgunned Corinthians to reach the Copa Sudamerica final this year and were shock Copa Libertadores finalists three years ago.