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Flying Eagles face old adversaries, Brazil and Italy at World Cup





Nigeria’s Flying Eagles will have to step up their skills as they have been drawn against five-time winners, Brazil in the  FIFA U-20 World Cup which begins in a month’s time in Argentina.

In addition, the Flying Eagles in Group D are drawn against Italy and Dominican Republic.

While they had never faced  Dominican Republic in the 46 year old competition that is in its 23rd edition, the Flying Eagles had faced Brazil five times and had won none of the confrontations.

The best results Nigeria got in matches with Brazil are the goalless draw in 2005 and the 1-1 draw of 2013.  


The most astonishing of Nigeria’s three losses to Brazil was the 4-0 crash-landing at Chile ‘87 when an assumed heavily loaded Nigerian side lost 4-0.

That had been preceded by the 3-0 loss at Mexico ‘83 and  and 2-0 at Soviet Union ‘85 at the semi-finals.

They met Italy once in 1987 but lost the encounter 2-0.


FIFA U-20 World Cup draw in full

Group A
Argentina, Uzbekistan, Guatemala, New Zealand

Group B
USA, Ecuador, Fiji, Slovakia

Group C
Senegal, Japan, Israel, Colombia

Group D
Italy, Brazil, Nigeria, Dominican Republic

Group E
Uruguay, Iraq, England, Tunisia

Group F
France, Korea Republic, The Gambia, Honduras


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.