Brazil cruised to a 2-0 victory over Nigeria’s Flying Eagles at the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup on Saturday, thanks to two quick-fire first-half goals.
Brazil thus took over the first position in Group D, while Nigeria dropped to third.
Coach Ladan Bosso’s boys went into the final group game high on confidence after back-to-back wins over the Dominican Republic and Italy. With six points already in the kitty, the Flying Eagles needed just one point to finish as Group D winners.
It appeared the Flying Eagles understood the assignment as they held their South American opponents for the first 40 minutes.
The Brazilians overcame their poor start in the competition and consolidated their resurgence with the 2-0 win over Nigeria.
The first half at the Estadio Ciudad de La Plata began with both teams exhibiting a strong desire to take the lead.
Despite their best efforts, neither side could break the deadlock in the opening 15 minutes. Nigeria came close to opening their goal account through Emmanuel Umeh, but his shot struck the crossbar.
Brazil, however, capitalised on their chances. In the 44th minute, Jean rose to Simon’s corner kick and executed a well-placed header, which the Nigerian goalkeeper palmed into the back of his net. His starting position for the corner kick was faulty.
The Brazilian fans erupted with joy as their team took the lead. The South American dominance continued just before the halftime whistle.
The Flying Eagles turned over the ball on the edge of the Brazilian, from which they countered, and Savio orchestrated a brilliant run, piercing through Nigeria’s defence before he delivered a precise pass to Marquinhos, who calmly slotted the ball past Kingsley Aniagboso.
With a two-goal advantage, Brazil headed into halftime with confidence, firmly in control of the game.
Nigeria sought to rally and mount a comeback in the second half, but Brazil’s resolute defence proved a formidable obstacle.
The Flying Eagles struggled to create scoring chances, and the best they got was hitting the crossbar for the second time through Haliru Sarki.
With Brazil maintaining their two-goal lead until the final whistle, they affirmed their position atop Group D in the 2023 U-20 FIFA World Cup.
In the other Group D game, Italy defeated the Dominican Republic 3-0, moving the Italians into second place ahead of Nigeria.
The Flying Eagles are in the pot as one of the best losers in the Round of 16 and could face hosts Argentina or the USA in the knockout phase.