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How Nigeria Have Fared Previously In The FIFA U20 World Cup

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles have participated in 11 editions of the FIFA U-20 World Cup and will be aiming to go one better than their best outings in 1989 and 2005 respectively when they got to the finals losing 2-0 and 2-1 on both occasions – the latter signalling the arrival of a certain Lionel Messi who scored two penalty kicks to deny the immensely talented Nigerian squad boosting of John Mikel Obi, Taye Taiwo and Chinedu Ogbuke Obasi amongst others.

The first appearance at the tournament for Nigeria was in Mexico in 1983 where the Flying Eagles crashed out of the group stages after a win, a draw and a defeat.

Two years later, 1985, in Soviet Union, the Eagles finished in third place but it was disaster in Chile 87 as the Flying Eagles despite arguably containing some of the most talented players ever seen at that level exited at the group stages. The Flying Eagles were barred from playing at the tournament in 1991 due to age discrepancies.

The Flying Eagles did not qualify for the U-20 World Cup in 1993, 1995 and 1997 but returned in 1999 as hosts. They were eliminated by fellow West African opponents Mali 3-1 in the quarterfinals stage.

It was a quarterfinals finish for Nigeria in 2007 and 2011 and second round exits in 2009 and 2013 while they could not get past the Round of 16 staged in 2015.

The Flying Eagles did not qualify for the U-20 World Cup in 2017 after losing on aggregate to Sudan in the last round of qualifiers in the African zone.

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