F/Eagles Battle Argentina, Mexico In Pre-WYC Tourney

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Nigeria’s Flying Eagles will take on the most successful teams in the FIFA U-20 World Cup, Argentina, Mexico and hosts Panama, in an invitational tournament from 18 July.

Argentina have won the U-20 World Cup a record six times, including beating Nigeria 2-1 in the 2005 championship in the Netherlands with two penalty goals by Lionel Messi.

Argentina are drawn against Mexico in Group F, while Panama are in a first round group that also has Brazil and African representatives, Egypt, at the World Cup scheduled for Colombia from 29 July to 20 August.

Officials disclosed that Nigeria, who are also African champions, will depart on a 12-hour flight to Panama on 16 July .Their first match will be on 18 July at the invitational tourney. Other match dates are 20 July and 22 July.

P.M.Sports gathered that all matches will have a late kick-off time because of the hot and humid conditions in Panama. Argentina, Mexico and Panama have all qualified for the 2011 U-20 World Cup.

The Flying Eagles will then leave for Colombia, host country of this year’s FIFA Under-20 World Cup, on 23 July.

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Nigeria will play their first match of the WYC against Guatemala on 31 July in Armenia. They will also square up against Saudi Arabia and Croatia in Group D of the FIFA youth championship.

Meanwhile, Nigeria’s former U-17 Golden Eaglets’ striker, Sani Shehu Emmanuel, has expressed joy at teaming up with the Flying Eagles ahead of the U-20 World Cup.

Emmanuel said he is ready to make his mark at the World Cup after securing a contract at Italian side, SS Lazio.

Emmanuel was one of the Flying Eagles players that left Nigeria on Tuesday night for Faro in Portugal for a pre-World Cup camp.

The Flying Eagles will be camped at the Browns Sports and Leisure Club in Faro till 16 July.

On 13 July, the Nigerian U-20 team will play their Portuguese counterparts in an international friendly in Lisbon.