'Nigeria was going twice as fast as us' - Italy U20 boss rues defeat to Flying EaglesPublished: May 24, 2023
Italy U20 boss Carmine Nunziata was downbeat after his side's 2-0 loss to the Flying Eagles of Nigeria in their second group game of the ongoing FIFA U20 World Cup.
In a cagey first half, there was nothing to sperate the two sides, but Nigeria goalkeeper Kingsley Aniagboso did well to ensure it was goalless when he made a smart save right at the end of the half to deny the Italians from breaking the deadlock.
Nigeria had a big let off in the 35th minute when a handball that would have been given against Solomon Agbalaka was overruled because there was a handball earlier on in the move from Mattia Zanotti.
Just past the hour mark, Emmanuel Umeh had the awareness to lift the ball to Salim Fago Lawal who headed home, and the goal was awarded despite Italy protesting there was a foul in the build-up.
Jude Sunday nipped in and showed terrific composure to get his angle spot on and guide the ball home in stoppage time to seal the win.
Speaking post-match, Nunziata admitted that his boys made mistakes, adding that the pace and physicality of the Nigerians troubled his team.
"It was a difficult match especially on a physical level," Nunziata.told the official website of the Italian Football Federation.
"Nigeria was going twice as fast as us. We could have made better use of the spaces. Instead we made a lot of mistakes on a technical level and in the end it's normal to get into trouble as the minutes go by.
"Now we need to regain strength, play a great game against the Dominican Republic and go through."
Nigeria, who are topping Group D of the World Cup with maximum points from their opening two games, return to action on Saturday, May 27 when they face Brazil at the Estadio Único Diego Armando Maradona, La Plata.
Photo Credit : figc.it
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