Nigeria are up against high flyers Argentina in a Round of 16 game at the FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The Flying Eagles, one of the best third-placed teams to make it to this round, earned six points to set up a mouth-watering tie with the host nation.
Nigeria defeated debutants Dominican Republic 2-1 in their first Group D match in Argentina before seeing off Italy 2-0.
However, Ladan Boss’ charges faltered against heavyweights Brazil in their last game.
When Nigeria line up at the San Juan del Bicentenario Stadium, they will seek to silence Argentina in front of their boisterous home supporters.
The South Americans, on the other hand, got to this stage in a ruthless form. They scored ten goals in three matches, conceding only one.
They were the winners of Group A with maximum points, dispatching Uzbekistan, Guatemala, and New Zealand.
Nigeria and Argentina met in the final of the 2005 edition of the competition. But marshalled by Lionel Messi, the Young Abiscelete triumphed 2-1 over their West African foes. That is the only encounter between the teams in the tournament.
While the Flying Eagles have not won the competition, reaching the final twice (1989 and 2005), Argentina have established themselves as the tournament’s most successful side having clinched the title six times: 1979, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2005, and 2007.
Even though the host have a rich history at this level, Bosso believes Nigeria can soar above their South American foes.
“We have to fight for the trophy. I think it is still open. Everybody can be there, and I believe we have the capacity to be there,” he said ahead of the game.
“We are into the knockout stage, and in the knockout stage, there is an approach, we can employ for it, and we hope we’d have our plans executed accordingly.”
Star Boys To Watch
AC Milan’s Victor Eletu has been impressive so far for Nigeria and is expected to marshall the middle in what is his team’s toughest match so far in the age-grade competition.
Abel Ogwuche and Daniel Daga are also players to watch out for when the game kicks off in Argentina.
For the Los Cebollitas, Luka Romero and Alejo Véliz have gotten rave reviews.
Romero has netted twice in the tournament while Véliz has three goals to his credit.
Date, Time For Argentina Vs Nigeria Match At U-20 World Cup
Date: Wednesday, May 31, 2023
Time: 10:00 pm (West African Time).