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FIFA U-20 World Cup: Nigeria close out group stage with defeat to Brazil

Nigeria finished up Group D play at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup with a 2-0 defeat to Brazil on Saturday at the Estadio Único Diego Maradona in La Plata, Argentina. First half goals from Jean Pedroso and Marquinhos gave Nigeria their first defeat and dropped the Flying Eagles to third place in the group behind Saturday’s opponents and Italy. Nigeria advance to the knockout stage as one of the best third placed teams and will play either the United States or hosts Argentina depending on Sunday’s results.

The Flying Eagles got off to a good start and missed out on taking the lead by the narrowest margins in the 8th minute. A cross from Ume Emmanuel on the right wing found Jude Sunday, whose volley hit both the post and the crossbar before Brazil goalkeeper Mycael pushed the ball away off the goal line.

After a promising opening fifteen minutes, Brazil settled in and gradually took control of the match. The Seleção took the lead in the 43rd minute when a corner kick service from Marquinhos was headed in at the near post by defender Jean Pedroso. Just before halftime the under-20 champions of South America doubled their lead through Marquinhos, whose shot squeezed between the legs of Nigeria keeper Chijioke Aniagboso after the Arsenal forward was set up by a pass from Sávio.

Outside of a couple of isolated opportunities, Nigeria struggled to get back into the match. Rilwanu Sarki rattled the crossbar in the 73rd minute after cutting inside from the right wing and later on his free kick was tipped over the crossbar by Mycael as Brazil held on without too much trouble.

Click the button below to watch the match highlights.

Nigeria 0-2 Brazil Highlights

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