Fifa World Cup Final Match Was Held In Flying Eagles Of Nigeria Debut At Mexico 1983 World Youth Championship

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Flying Eagles Of Nigeria Debut At Mexico 1983 World Youth Championship

The national U-20 Men’s team is popularly known as; “The Flying Eagles”. The Flying Eagles of Nigeria managed to represent Africa for the first time in the FIFA World Youth Championship held in Mexico in 1983 along with the Ivory Coast.

But the Flying Eagles couldn’t get past the first round. In their first match, they defeated the USSR 1-0 with a winning goal from the booth of Tarila Okoronwanta in the 78th minute of the match, before losing 3-0 to Brazil and holding the Netherlands to a goalless draw.

In 1985, the Flying Eagles won the bronze medal at the FIFA World Youth Championship held in Russia. They qualified together with Tunisia, representing Africa. The Flying Eagles started their campaign with a 2-0 win over Canada. On Monday Odiaka opened the scoring in the first minute of the game, to enter the FIFA book as the top scorer of the FIFA U-20 tournament. Samson Siasia scored the second goal in the 78th minute to keep the game going for the unchallenged Canadians.

In their second game, the team was defeated by the Russians 2-1. Nigeria’s only goal came from Mark Anunobi’s spot kick in the 81st minute of play. However they bounced back to record a stunning 3-2 win over Australia in their final match to book their place in the quarterfinals. Niyi Adeleye, Monday Odiaka and Mark Anunobi were all on charters.

In the quarter final against Mexico, the Flying Eagles secured a 2-1 victory over the heavily favored teams to set up a semi final against Brazil. The fight against the Mexicans was more difficult, as the Nigerians had to defend their lead at the end of the second half after Augustine Igbinabaro and Monday Odiaka had given Nigeria a comfortable lead in the first half. The Mexicans pulled one back through Victor Medina in the 50th minute of the match, but it was not to be their day, as the Flying Eagles went on to record a comfortable victory.

In the semi-final match, the Brazilians were too hot for the Flying Eagles, as they went down 2-0. The Flying Eagles however defeated the hosts USSR 3-1 via penalties to settle for the bronze medal after the match ended 0-0 in regulation time. It was a tournament in which Odiaka on Monday won the Adidas Golden boot award, after showing impressive performances in Nigeria’s bright green colours.

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