Nigeria U20 thrash Italy 2-0, top group – Newstrends
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Nigeria U20 thrash Italy 2-0, top group

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Nigeria U20 thrash Italy 2-0, top group

The Flying Eagles of Nigeria on Wednesday night defeated Gli Azzurrini of Italy 2-0 in their second game of Group D at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup.

The victory took Nigeria to the top of the group with six points.

The Flying Eagles will play Brazil on Saturday in their final game of the group.

The two goals were scored by Salim Fago Lawal and Jude Sunday in the second half of the game.

Ladan Bosso made just one change to the team which defeated Dominican Republic 2-1 in the opening game as Italy-based Victor Eletu was brought on for Tochukwu Nnadi in the midfield.

Eletu proved the change was essential when he attempted the first shot on target in the game but Sebastiano Desplanches, the Italian goalkeeper, gathered easily.

The Azurrini, who thrashed Brazil 3-2 in their first game, almost took the lead in the 20th minute but Cesare Casadei struck the woodwork.

The Flying Eagles resumed control of the game, and two consecutive chances fell to Sunday and Samson Lawal but none could beat Desplanches.

Nigerian then suffered another scare when it appeared the ball had clipped the arm of Solomon Agbalaka inside the goal area. An extensive video assistant referee (VAR) review was followed by the referee deciding against a penalty.

After the first-half break, Bosso sent on the double substitution of Nnadi and Emmanuel Umeh for Samon Lawal and Ibrahim Muhammed.

Shortly after, Nigeria broke the deadlock. Umeh held off an Italian defender in the goal area before calmly scooping a cross onto Fago Lawal, who glanced a header to the top corner.

The Nigerians gave little away as they guarded their lead into the later stage of the game.

Deep into stoppage time, Jude Sunday added another goal for Nigeria as he slotted the ball between the legs of Desplanches after reacting fastest to a clearance by Kingsley Aniaboso, the Eagles goalkeeper.

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Euro 2024: Spain beat Italy 1-0, England play 1-1 with Denmark

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Euro 2024: Spain beat Italy 1-0, England play 1-1 with Denmark

Spain have qualified for the second round of the ongoing 2024 UEFA European Championship.

The Luis de la Fuente side became the second team to book the competition knockout ticket after defeating Italy 1-0 at the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, on Thursday.

A second-half own goal conceded by Riccardo Carlafiori was the sole difference, sending Spain top of Group B with six points.

Italy, the defending champions, cut a timid apparition of themselves throughout the game, and the scoreline was kept respectable by Gianluigi Donnarumma’s saves.

But even the goalkeeper was helpless in the 55th minute after he had gone down to save a header from Alvaro Morata, and the ball ricocheted off the shin of Carlafiori and into the net.

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In the other games of the day, England were dealt a reality check and held to a 1-1 draw against Denmark.

The Three Lions had taken the lead after Harry Kane stroked the ball home from the six-yard area.

Shortly, the Danes responded with a sublime strike from Marten Hjulmand from 30 yards out. The shot flew beyond the stretched limb of Jordan Pickford into the net.

Slovenia and Serbia also played out a one-all draw earlier in the day.

Euro 2024: Spain beat Italy 1-0, England play 1-1 with Denmark

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Mohammed Kudus leaving W’Ham summer, Man Utd stake £33.8m on Joshua Zirkzee

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Mohammed Kudus

Mohammed Kudus leaving W’Ham summer, Man Utd stake £33.8m on Joshua Zirkzee

West Ham fear Ghana winger Mohammed Kudus, 23, will ask to leave the club this summer. (Football Insider)

Liverpool are pursuing Turkey’s 19-year-old attacking midfielder Arda Guler from Real Madrid(Teamtalk)

Fulham have revived their interest in  Chelsea‘s 24-year-old English defender Trevoh Chalobah. (Standard)

Aston Villa have enquired about the availability of 21-year-old Argentinean midfielder Matias Soule, but Juventus say he is not for sale. (Sky Sports)

 Chelsea are in talks with Boca Juniors over a deal for 19-year-old Argentinean defender Aaron Anselmino. (Athletic – subscription required)

Manchester United are preparing to trigger the £33.8m release clause in the contract of Bologna‘s 23-year-old Dutch striker Joshua Zirkzee. (Telegraph – subscription required)

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Manchester United will walk away from talks with Everton for English defender Jarrad Branthwaite, 21, unless the Toffees lower their £70m asking price. (ESPN)

Everton are increasingly confident of keeping hold of the centre-back this summer. (I Sport)

Lille defender Leny Yoro, 18, favours a move to Real Madrid over Liverpool or Manchester United(Marca – in Spanish)

Former AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli is among the candidates to become Al-Ittihad manager. (Fabrizio Romano)

Paris St-Germain and Netherlands midfielder Xavi Simons, 21, is Bayern Munich‘s primary transfer target. (Bild – in German)

Arsenal have made a bid for Fenerbahce‘s Turkey full-back Ferdi Kadioglu, 24. (Ajan Spor – in Turkish)

Southampton and Brighton have made offers to IFK Gothenburg for 18-year-old Malian midfielder Malick Yalcouye. (Caught offside)

Mohammed Kudus leaving W’Ham summer, Man Utd stake £33.8m on Joshua Zirkzee

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Eagles drop 8 spots to 38th in latest FIFA rankings

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Eagles drop 8 spots to 38th in latest FIFA rankings

The recent poor outings of Super Eagles of Nigeria have reflected in the rating of the team.

The team dropped eight places from 30th to 38th in the world based on FIFA’s latest rankings.

According to the list released on Thursday by the world football governing body, the three-time African champions have also moved two steps behind to the fifth-best team on the continent.

Nigeria’s current rating is due to uninspiring results in the just-concluded round of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers.

In June, the Eagles drew 1-1 against South Africa in their fourth game of the qualifiers and lost 2-1 to the Benin Republic in the following match.

The team’s latest string of performances condemned Nigeria to fifth place in the qualification group, having previously drawn against Lesotho and Zimbabwe.

The results also mounted pressure on the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), which announced it would appoint an “expatriate” technical adviser for the team.

Shortly after the NFF’s announcement, George Finidi resigned as the Super Eagles head coach after just two games in charge.

Morocco and Senegal maintained their lead as the best African teams, while Egypt and Cote d’Ivoire climbed to third and fourth on the continent.

Argentina remained number one globally, with France and Belgium in second and third.

Brazil leapfrogged England to fourth in the global rankings.

The next FIFA world ranking will be released on July 18, 2024.

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