After defeating the Dominican Republic, the Nigerian Flying Eagles meet Nunziata’s lads in Mendoza, which presents a stiffer challenge
Mavlon FC forward, Lawal Salem Fago, who recently played on Italian soil, has highlighted what Nigerian fans could expect against Italy, soccernet.ng reports.
Following their opening 2-1 triumph against the U-20 World Cup rookies, the Nigerian Flying Eagles are ready for a major battle against Carmine Nunziata’s team tomorrow night at the Mendoza Stadium.
Salem Fago, who made his debut appearance for Ladan Bosso’s team and played a role in Nigeria’s first goal, expressed his gratitude for the chance to serve his nation while also revealing that the Azzurri are tough and physical.
Speaking to soccernet.ng, the prodigy who donned the number 9 shirt for the Nigerian U-20 team asserted that representing his nation is only the beginning for him.
“Firstly, I’m grateful to God almighty and the coaches for the opportunity. I was very happy to wear the colours of the national and represent my country. This is the first step, and I intend to work harder,” he said.
The two-time World Cup runners-up fell to Senegal in their first game of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations by a goal to nil, but they rebounded with a win against tournament host Egypt by the same score.
The young Nigerian star agreed with what Jude Sunday and Ladan Bosso had stated earlier and remarked that it was crucial for Nigeria to get three points to boost their confidence in the competition.
“The most important thing is to pick the 3 points from the first game in a tournament like this. It gives us the confidence to build on and approach the second game. Our head coach demands more from us all the time, and we have to work to meet his expectations.” he said to Soccernet.ng.
The 20-year-old had the opportunity to compete in the global youth championships at the Viareggio Cup in Italy when he was on trial against the Italians.
He added that the seven-time Africa Cup of Nations winners have what it takes to match their strength.
“The game and mentality are about the team and not me. The coaches are preparing us technically on how we would approach the game. This will not be my first time playing Italian opposition. I played against them at the world youth championships at the Viareggio Cup in Italy for 2 months. They are physical and aggressive. I think we have the strength to match them, and we would approach this game with the right mentality and desire to compete for Nigeria,” he added.
A win for Nigeria against Italy will guarantee them a spot in the next round of the 2023 U-20 World Cup tournament.
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