Flying Eagles set for tough Brazil test

The last time both teams clashed at this level was in 2005.

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles readiness for the 2013 U20 World Cup will be put to full test on Tuesday by world champions Brazil at the Toulon Tournament.

Brazil may not be at Turkey 2013 after failing to qualify from the South American qualifiers but they have been flying high at the Toulon Tournament, having won all their three matches so far.

They overcame a first-half scare by Belgium U21 to win 2-1 in their opening game, before they stopped an impressive Mexico 1-0 and on Sunday they put World Cup-bound Portugal in their place with two early goals.

The Flying Eagles, on the other hand, are yet to really lift off in France after they lost 2-0 to Mexico and forced Belgium to a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

The six-time African champions have used the first two matches to try out some players for the World Cup but would most certainly put forward their best foot against the Samba Stars at Stade Louis Hon in St. Raphael from 7pm local time.

This means defenders Ikechukwu Okorie, Kingsley Madu, Shehu Abdullahi are expected to return with Belgium-based John Felegha getting his chance in goal on Tuesday. This defence will have to put an eye on Brazil twinkling stars like Danilo, Ademilson and Yuri Mamute.

Strikers: Kayode Olanrewaju, Samuel Eduok, and Edafe Egbedi will also return after they were rested against Belgium.

The last time both teams clashed at this level was in 2005, when they played a goalless draw in a group game at the World Cup in the Netherlands.

Coach John Obuh blamed the strong wind for the lack of flow in his team against Belgium on Sunday.

“The wind did not allow us to play our normal flowing game,” he lamented. “Both teams had their chances, but we were too much in a hurry to score. We hope to improve against Brazil on Tuesday.”

Brazil’s coach, Alexander Gallo, said he will be satisfied with a point to take them to the June 8 final as they have already recorded nine points.

“We have nine points from three matches. Now it will be okay to get a point against Nigeria,” he said. “We are not the favourites to win this competition. France and Colombia have come here with very strong teams.”


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