FIFA U-20: Who will win the battle of the Continental Champions Germany or Nigeria?
Two of the tournament favourites lock horns tomorrow for a place in the quarter-final at the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
The clash has been dubbed the final before the final by many pundits.
Anyone following the tournament should know that the European U-19 Champions are talented, fast, skillful and very energetic. They are very compact, understand each other and can score goals. So far they have scored a total of 16 goals and conceding just 2 in three games.
The 16 goals scored by the German in the group stages is the highest by any team in the history of FIFA U-20 World Cup at that stage.
The tie with the Flying Eagles of Nigeria will be a true test for the European Champions and tournament favourites who has had it easy in their group with wonderful results against Fiji (8-1), Uzbekistan (3-0) and Honduras (5-1).
The German captain Kevin Akpoguma has a Nigerian root.
Hany Mukhtar the Benfica player is the one to look out for, he has 4 goals in 3 games.
The flying eagles began their campaign on a shaky note losing to another tournament favourite 2-4, but since the defeat in the hand of Brazil they’ve played beautiful football and won their last games easily.
The African Champions who arguably has the most potent attack on paper with players like Manchester City striker Kelechi Iheanacho, Gent striker Simon Moses and Taiwo Awoniyi in their rank must look for a way to defend against the European Champions if they must get anything out of the tie.
Though, their last two games showed their manager Manu Garba may have found a solution to the defence that looks like a ‘police station’ always open. They kept consecutive clean sheets against Korea and Hungary.
Taiwo Awoniyi the Kalmar FF striker is the one to look out for, prior to the world cup he scores for fun and presently he has 2 goals in 3 games.
HEAD TO HEAD:
The two side have meet twice at the FIFA U-20 World Cup; Nigeria won 2-0 in 1999 and in the Germany won the other 3-2 in 2009.
It is a though one to pick, but the Flying Eagles have a better chance having played difficult teams en-route the round of 16. They should be match fit and ready to go unlike their opponent who has had it easy all the way beating minnows (Fiji, Uzbekistan and Honduras).
Nigeria to win 2-1.