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QATAR LOSES TO NIGERIA AT FIFA U-20 WORLD CUP

25 May 2019, General

Tychy, 25 May 2019. Qatar’s U20 Football National Team started into the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup with a 4-0 defeat in their opening Group D match against Nigeria at the Tychy Stadium in Poland on Friday evening.

The “Flying Eagles”, runners-up to a Joao Pinto-propelled Portugal in 1989 and a Lionel Messi-inspired Argentina in 2005, soared 2-0 up inside 25 minutes – and both goals were indebted to their left-back.

Ikouwem Utin duped his marker and unleashed a swerving shot, which Shehab Mamdouh could only push into the path of Maxwell Effiom, whose first-time volley broke the deadlock in the 12th minute.

The Nigeria No 3 then somehow sprung four challenges down the left and cut the ball back to present Okechukwa Offia with a comfortable finish from close range in the 24th minute.

Qatar's team, mainly comprised of players that came through Aspire Academy's football program, did have their chances. Zulkifilu Rabiu catapulted himself across the Tychy turf to make an outstanding block from Yusuf Abdurisag, and Nigeria goalkeeper Olawale Oremade was alert to break up a three-on-one break from which Qatar should have made more.

They were further punished, Manchester City midfielder Tom Dele-Bashiru making it 3-0 in the 68th minute before Aliu Salawudeen’s swivel and shot in the 74th completed the win.

The teams return to action on Monday, May 27 when Qatar face Ukraine (7pm) and Nigeria encounter USA, that lost their first game 2-1 against Ukraine.

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