U-20 World Cup: Nigeria advances to knockout stage


On Wednesday, Salim Fago Lawal’s diving header and Jude Sunday’s last-gasp finish helped Nigeria upset Italy in an end-to-end match at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023.

The Flying Eagles advance to the knockout stage with six points, while the Azzurri have three points after two games in Group D.

Both teams had chances in the first half, with Tommaso Baldanzi putting Kingsley Aniagboso to the test. Just after an hour, the first goal was scored.

Half-time substitute Umeh Emmanuel and Gabriele Guarino collided inside the Italian box, but the latter spring straight up and dinked the ball back across goal. Salim Fago Lawal flung himself into the air and headed into a semi-guarded net.

Thereafter, Nigeria’s admirable defending reduced Italy to shots from outside the box. Daniele Montevago had the best of them, but curler his effort wide.

Then, in stoppage time, the Flying Eagles made absolutely sure of the victory. Goalkeeper Aniagboso got the assist, his punt upfield finding the rampaging Sunday, who struck it across goal and into the bottom corner.