Nigeria’s Flying Eagles will look to secure a place in the second round at the FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland when they take on Ukraine in their final Group D game today (Thursday ), reports Completesports.com.
The West Africans who started their campaign in the competition on resounding note by thrashing Qatar 4-0 went down 2-0 to the United States of America in their second game on Thursday.
The Ukranians are already through to the Round of 16 after winning their opening two games against USA and Qatar.
They top the group with six points, while Nigeria and USA have three points each.
Defeat for the Flying Eagles in the game could see them exit the competition while a draw could see them secure a spot among the four best third placed teams.
The Flying Eagles will be without the duo of Valentine Ozornwafor and Jamilu Mohammed for this game.
Ozornwafor will miss the game due to the groin injury he copped against USA, while Jamilu has been ruled out of the competition due to injury.
Head coach of the side Paul Aigbogun reckoned that his players were not at their best in the last game against USA but have put that beside them and are battle ready for the Ukranians.
“I will say that the early goal we conceded unsettled our players and they were not able to stick to the game-plan that was earmarked for them,” Aigbogun told reporters after the team’s training session on Wednesday.
“We were not at our best but we won’t allow this to dampen our morale because the ultimate is to qualify for the next round. We apologise for the defeat but we are assuring Nigerians that they shall see an improved team against Ukraine.
“The boys were not happy with their performance and they were all distraught after the game. They have been told what they must improve on. It was not that they were totally poor against but the goals they scored against us had a telling effect on them and they were unable to recover.”
By Adeboye Amosu