FIFA U20 WC: A half way convincing start for Africans

FIFA U20 WC: A half way convincing start for Africans

The U20 World Cup opened this May 20 in Argentina and will continue until June 11. It has 4 African representatives. All have played their first game in the competition with mixed results overall. In the balance sheet, there are 2 victories and 2 defeats.

Nigeria sets the pace
The Flying Eagle (group D) opened victory way for the African countries in the running for the U20 World Cup, that was on Saturday 21 against the Dominican Republic. Placed in a tough group with Italy and Brazil, it was not to be missed. Nigeria won 2-1 not without difficulty. The 3rd of the last AFCON of the category conceded the opening goal on penalty (23rd). But they quickly came back to the score before storming the Dominican goals to succeed in scoring the winning goal at the 71st by Samson Lawal. Nigeria could have improved its goal-average with its 24 shots of which 11 were on target against 3 shots on target on a total of 5 attempts for their opponent.

But the main objective which was three points was done with this victory. Nigeria will meet Italy this May 24 at 18:00, with whom it shares the lead of the group following its victory over Brazil 3-2, for the shock of the 2nd day. A victory would qualify them. Ladan Isah Bosso, Nigeria's coach, noted some mistakes made by his boys during the first game. One of the areas of improvement, he said, is in his attack. "We missed so many opportunities, and we have to work on these opportunities before the next game.

The African Champion Senegalese misses their entry
Deprived of its two best elements at the AFCON retained by their common club, Senegal (group C) despite everything has a team that looks good. But they met a tough Samurai Blue (Japan) who wanted more at the beginning of the game. Their commitment paid off with a goal right at the quarter of the game. Senegal will try to reverse the trend in the second half with the foot on the ball, but a blatant offensive inefficiency on at least 2 clear opportunities deprives them of an equalization that would have been logical in a game where everyone had his half. The Cubs have burned their only joker. They still have 2 "finals" to play.

The Senegalese coach Malick Daf regrets the early goal conceded, but is pleased with the recovery noticed after the goal and the many chances they created, just regretting the lack of application. He added: "[...] in the whole game, I think there is hope. We must be lucid and serene and analyze the game objectively, correct the mistakes and prepare for the next match, which promises to be important for qualification. To hope to continue the adventure, a victory is imperative for Senegal against Israel with whom they share the last place (0 points). Colombia and Japan have 3 points each. Appointment for the first match of the survival of Senegal this May 24 at 18h.

Tunisia did not create the surprise against England
The Aiglonnets of Carthage (group E) had apparently decided to park the bus in front of their goal for their debut in the U20 World Cup. They lost 1-0 against the Three Lions. The Tunisians unfortunately took a goal against England in the 25th minute. They will not carry the danger in the opposite camp for almost 70 minutes. The entry of Mohamed Dhaoui has changed the dynamic somewhat. Tunisia has created some opportunities including a free kick and a long shot from the last named. Tunisia will cross swords in the second day with Iraq who also lost against Uruguay in the first day (0-3), this Thursday, May 25 at 21h. This will be the decisive match or the loser will be eliminated. A draw would not help anyone.

Gambia overcome Honduras
Gambia (group F) carried by the inevitable Adama Bojang beat Honduras on Monday, May 22 2-1. The striker who continues in his momentum of the CAN opened the score in the first minute of play. But the Young Scorpions were quickly caught up in the 5th minute. Gambia had great opportunities to regain the lead in the first half but the Honduran last defense kept his team in the game. The same pattern in the second half, until the 84th minute when Adama Bojang finally doubled the score. A deserved goal that rewards the initiatives and the Gambian domination.

Gambia and Korea occupy the first 2 places with equal points. France and Honduras with 0 points each close the gap. Gambia plays for its 2nd outing against France, this Thursday, May 25 at 18h. A victory would be synonymous with qualification for the 8th round of the U20 World Cup.

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