U-20 World Cup: Flying Eagles fail to break 40-year Brazil curse
The Flying Eagles were beaten 2-0 by Brazil in their last group game of the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup on Saturday, but still reached the round of 16 of the tournament as the best third-placed team in the Group stages with six points.
Nigeria will face either hosts Argentina or USA for a place in the quarter-finals.
Nigeria needed at least a draw against the Brazilians to seal top spot in Group D but they found themselves behind in the first half no thanks to Henrique Pedroso and Marquinhos goals.
Italy also beat Dominican Republic 3-0 in the other final group game to seal their place in the next round.
Despite losing their opening game against Italy, Brazil finished top of the six points while Italy followed in second place on goal difference.
Nigeria’s 2-0 loss didn’t hinder the progress of Ladan Bosso’s team, but the result means the Flying Eagles have never beaten their Brazilian counterparts since they first met 40 years ago at Mexico ‘83.
In six encounters, the best result obtained by Nigeria was the 0-0 at Netherlands 2005. All other encounters ended in defeats for the Nigerian team. Only in the 2015 at the group stage in New Zealand did Nigeria managed to score in a 4-2 loss.
When they first met 20 years ago, Brazil won 3-0. They met again in the semi-finals of the 1985 edition in Leningrad in the then Soviet Union, Brazil won 2-0.