By Francis Ajuonuma
The Flying Eagles silent their Italian counterparts yesterday with a well deserved victory to move into the knockout stage of the the FIFA U-20 World Cup ongoing in Argentina.
Goals from Salem Fago and Jude Sunday ensured that the Ladan Bosso tutored Flying Eagles beat the Young Azzurris 2-0 at the Estadio Malvinas Argentinas to top Group D with six points with a match to spare.
The Flying Eagles had on Sunday May 21 defeated the Dominican Republic 2-1, in their Group D opener, while Italy had the better side of Brazil with a 3-2 win, making yesterday’s game a very difficult to call.
Italy started well on the night but the Flying Eagles were not to be cowed.
Midfieder Daniel Daga had the sight of the goal in the eight minute for the West Africans but his low drive went off target.
The Flying Eagles had their first corner in the 15th minute but Salim Fago headed over the bar following a good delivery.
Italy went close in the 21st minute when Pafundi danced past two Nigerian tackles, his low cross found Cesare Casadei who sent a snap shot onto the cross bar.
Jude Sunday was proving to be the most exciting Nigerian attacker and just before the half-hour mark space opened up a bit for him on the edge of the box but his final shot whistled past the left post.
Shortly after, Agbalaka got at the end of another Nigerian corner but he was only able to head wide.
The Flying Eagles finally worked the Italian goalkeeper after Fago ran unto Abdullahi’s throughball and lashed a fierce drive that the goalie pushed past for a corner.