On Friday Nigeria’s campaign at the FIFA U20 World Cup got off to a flier with the Flying Eagles securing a 4-0 win over Qatar at the Tychy Stadium, where a small crowd of over 3000 witnessed the match.
So here are the five things we noticed in the game:
The Flying Eagles goalkeeper Wale Oremade looked confident and in command of his goal area. He was comfortable in the air, but his kick distribution and ball playing abilities might be easily forgiven at the sight of his very long throws. One time he picked out a player in the center circle with a one-handed throw.
Valentine Ozonwafor picked up the game’s only yellow card but was lucky for the most part to have finished the game.
The Center back who recently signed with Turkey Super Lig champions Galatasaray, made a number of very questionable tackles and his frequent double-footed challenges aren’t particularly safe for opponents, but also for him and his team, should he catch a body and be shown a Red.
Ikuowem Utin was Nigeria’s stand out player and he led the team from the back, certainly justifying the captaincy. He also picked up a brace of assists; a rarity, and should he continue to improve Utin will do just fine in the competition.
Okechukwu Offia was unstoppable, rolling like a train, the attacker showed strength, agility and ball skills as he bossed the opponents.
Former U17 star Wilson Oruma was in the stands and enjoying what he saw as he celebrated wildly Nigeria’s opening goal.
Although he has been with the team through the campaign in Germany, working side by side the Head Coach Paul Aigbogun, Oruma didn’t appear to be a member of the technical staff, perhaps he is part of the team, among other things as a scout.
Friday’s group D opener was the lowest turn out so far at the competition with just 3,010 spectators in the bleachers. Japan vs Ecuador; 3,018, was the previous least watch game until the Group D matches.