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U20WC: Nigeria Fly Into Knockout Stage

Nigeria defeated Italy in an end-to-end encounter at the FIFA U-20 World Cup Argentina 2023 on Wednesday, courtesy of Salim Fago Lawal’s diving header and Jude Sunday’s last-gasp finish.

The result means the Flying Eagles qualify for the knockout stage on six points while the Azzurri are on three points after two games apiece in Group D.

Both sides had chances in the first half, with Tommaso Baldanzi testing the hands of Kingsley Aniagboso. The first goal arrived just after the hour.

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.

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