Nigeria will kick start its campaign at the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup on Friday, when the Sand Eagles go up against former Champions Portugal in a Group D game at the Los Pynandi Stadium, Asuncion.
The Eagles are making their 6th world cup appearance and have only missed the editions held in 2008, 2013 and 2015, since their debut in 2006.
Their best performances at the World Cup came in 2007 and 2011, reaching the quarter-finals and finishing sixth on both occasions.
But it’ll be the first meeting between the two countries at this level in the competition and Nigeria are certainly not favorites to win this matchup.
While the Eagles have only previously won one of their opening games in the World Cup, at the 2007 edition when they stunned Argentina 5-3, Portugal have not lost an opening game and are making their 8th appearance.
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Selecção das Quinas, who won the competition four years ago are currently ranked 3rd and Nigeria 21st – other teams in Group, Brazil and Oman are ranked 1st and 23rd respectively.
Panamanian Referee Batita Gumercindo will officiate the game alongside Slavian, Carballo Perez (Second referee) and Uzbekistani, Namazov Bakhtiyor (Third referee).