Nigeria’s national U20 team, the Flying Eagles were handed a fair draw in the 2019 FIFA Under-20 World Cup to be staged in Poland later in the year after the West African giants avoided any former winners in their group.
In the draws ceremony held at the Gdynia Sports Arena in Gdynia, two-time runners-up Nigeria were drawn against Ukraine, Qatar and United States of America in group D of the 24-team tournament.
Just like Nigeria who were fourth in the African championship, the Flying Eagles’ first opponents in Poland; Qatar lost in the semifinal of the Asian Championship, same as Ukraine, their third opponents, in the European championship.
Nigeria’s opening game of the tournament will come up against Qatar on May 24 in Tychy before facing CONCACAF champions USA in Bielsko-Biala three days later. Paul Aigbogun’s wards will round off their group stage games with a clash with Ukraine also in Bielsko-Biala on May 30, 2019.
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For the other African representatives, African champions Mali will face colonial masters France, Panama and Asian champions Saudi Arabia in group E while Senegal are in Group A with host nation Poland, Colombia and Tahiti.
The Amajitas of South Africa are in a difficult Group F alongside European champions Portugal, record six-time winners Argentina and Korea Republic.
Nigeria’s head coach Paul Aigbogun was among the dignitaries that attended Sunday’s draws ceremony for the tournament which starts on May 23, 2019 and runs till June 15 in six Polish cities.
GROUP A: Poland, Colombia, Tahiti, Senegal
GROUP B: Mexico, Italy, Japan, Ecuador
GROUP C: Honduras, New Zealand, Uruguay, Norway
GROUP D: Qatar, Nigeria, Ukraine, USA
GROUP E: Panama, Mali, France, Saudi Arabia
GROUP F: Portugal, Korea Republic, Argentina, South Africa