Posted by News Express | 24 June 2013 | 3,901 times
Nigeria’s Flying Eagles set a record this evening by becoming the first African country to win a game at the on-going FIFA U-20 World Cup otherwise known as Turkey 2013. The team crushed hapless Cuba by 3-0 in their second group game to amend for their 2-3 to Portugal in their Group B opener on Friday night.
The Flying Eagles showed their hunger for victory by coming out strongly against the South Americans, with Aminu Umar firing in from close range for the opening goal in the 19th minute. Umar completed his brace with another strike in the 23rd minute, while team Captain Abdul Jeleel Ajagun made it 3-0 for Nigeria as he connected Kingsley Madu’s cross with a diving header in the 67th minute. It would have been 4-0 but Ajagun failed to convert a penalty awarded after Kayode Olanrewaju was brought down by Emmanuel Labrada.
The completely overwhelmed Cubans could not fire any clear shot at goal.
“We lost more than chances than we scored. This was because of the players’ poor attitude in front of goal. But the most important thing is that we back in contention (after our first loss to Portugal) and we hope to stay long enough in the competition to correct this problem,” said Coach John Obuh after the match.
On his part, skipper Abduljaleel Ajagun said: “It was not an easy match because Cuba gave us a fight but we’re happy we won the three points at stake and will take it from there.”
Cuba’s coach Raul Gonzalez conceded that Nigeria were superior to his team. “It was not such a big disappointment for us to lose to Nigeria because Nigeria were better and more effective than us,” he said. “It was a dream to play at the World Cup and we have gained a lot of experience here as we have had to play against far better teams like Nigeria,” the Cuban coach added.
With today’s victory, Nigeria’s chances of surviving the group stages after the next match against South Korea on Thursday in Istanbul have become bright.
•Photo, courtesy MTN Football, shows two-goal hero Umar (L) celebrating with Madu after scoring.
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