The delegation of Nigeria’s national under-20 male football team arrived in the city of Lodz on Saturday afternoon.
Ademola Olajire, Director of Communications at Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), said the team were in the Polish city ahead of their FIFA Under-20 World Cup Round of 16 game on Monday.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Flying Eagles are billed to face fellow African flagbearers Senegal.
“Players and officials left their Qubus Hotel in Bielsko-Biala after breakfast and arrived in Poland’s third largest city just in time for lunch at the Hotel Ambasador Premium,” Olajire said in a statement on Saturday.
Nigeria had finished third in Group D and only qualified as one of the best four third–place finishers in the six groups.
Senegal, Africa’s vice-champions, finished at the top of Group A after two wins and a draw.
The seven-times African champions are yet to truly impress in Poland since their opening day 4-0 lashing of Qatar in .
They had won with goals from Maxwell Effiom, Henry Offia, Ayotomiwa Dele-Bashiru and Aliu Salawudeen.
A 0-2 loss to the U.S. and 1-1 draw with Ukraine, both in Bielsko-Biala, meant the Flying Eagles had to sneak into the knockout rounds.
“But the spirit in camp is high following qualification, and the prospect of squaring up to another African team appears to be engendering unspoken steel determination in the playing body,” the NFF spokesman had added.
Nicknamed “The Promised Land”, Lodz however does not hold much promise for the African army.
This early knockout round confrontation between Nigeria and Senegal means depleted African presence going forward.
Already, South Africa’s Amajita are back in Johannesburg following group stage elimination.
The other African team, Mali, will have to battle Argentina at the same stage on Tuesday evening.
Half of the Round of 16 fixtures are all-Confederation clashes.
Apart from Nigeria/Senegal, South American representatives Uruguay and Ecuador are up against each other, as Asians Japan and South Korea, and European teams Italy and Poland.
The 18,000–capacity Stadion Widzewa, where the Flying Eagles tackle Senegal on Monday evening from 7.30pm, will also host the Final match on June 15.
FIFA U20 WORLD CUP ROUND OF 16 MATCHES
SUNDAY (JUNE 2)
Italy Vs Poland (Gdynia)
Colombia Vs New Zealand (Lodz)
MONDAY (JUNE 3)
Uruguay Vs Ecuador (Lublin)
Ukraine Vs Panama (Tychy)
Senegal Vs Nigeria (Lodz)
TUESDAY (JUNE 4)
Japan Vs Korea Republic (Lublin)
France Vs USA (Bydgoszcz)
Argentina Vs Mali (Bielsko-Biala)