Nigeria up next, decisive match in Mendoza for a spot in the round of 16Tomorrow (24 May) at the 'Malvinas Argentinas' stadium, at 20:00 CEST, the second match against the African side: a victory would guarantee a spot in the next round. The match will be broadcast live on Rai Sport+ HD, channel 58 DT, starting at 19.50 CEST.
Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Having gotten over the excitement of the splendid victory against Brazil, the National Under-20 team has their feet back on the ground and all concentration is turned to the second match of this World Cup against Nigeria. The match takes place tomorrow (24 May) and will be broadcast live on Rai Sport HD, channel 58 DT starting at 19.50 CEST. The match is scheduled to take place at the 'Malvinas Argentinas' stadium in Mendoza at 20:00 CEST (15:00 local time) and could be decisive for qualification to the round of 16 because, in the event of victory, they would be through mathematically with a game to spare. The African national side arrives at the appointment charged up by their comeback victory against the Dominican Republic: "A strong team" says Carmine Nunziata," difficult to face because they have extremely physical players, endowed with great speed. It will not be easy, an important match to continue our journey in this World Cup". The Azzurri coach has the whole squad at his disposal - the bruised left knee suffered by Guarino in the match against Brazil has healed -, including Giovane and Ambrosino, with the former having already played a partial match against the Greenoro.
Nigeria brings with it all the characteristics of African football: good technical qualities, but above all speed, great pace of play and an intensity that the players have no problem maintaining for the whole 90 minutes of the game. Of particular note are the attacking pair Laval Samson - who scored against the Dominican Republic - and winger Jude Sunday, with his unpredictable play, made up of speed and dribbling, who likes to duel in the one-on-one.
Matteo Prati, scorer of the opening goal in the match against the Brazilians, reaffirmed the coach's feelings: "They come from a victory and will be at full throttle. We will have to oppose the same test we had against Brazil, made of concentration, intensity and the strength of this group". Matteo is a boy of 2003, born in Ravenna where he started kicking at the age of four in the local football school, 'Classe'. His grandfather Bruno is his inspiration, having played with Torino's Primavera team many years ago; his father Enrico accompanied him to Cesena's youth team training sessions where his son stayed to play until the age of 15. Then the return to Ravenna where Matteo made his Serie C debut at the age of 17, only to be relegated to Serie D the following season (37 games and 5 goals). Finally, the move to Spal where he played 20 games this season, scoring two goals.
His first call-up to the national team came in the 8 Nations Tournament, a competition played by Nunziata's team before this World Cup, where he made his debut against Norway and then continued against Germany: "I get on really well with this group and with several of them - Giovane, Casadei and Turicchia - we have known each other since childhood because we played together in the youth teams of Cesena. He looks to Busquets and Thiago Alcantara to improve his qualities in the role he prefers, the midfielder, although he says he is versatile in the midfield, so much so that he played the role of halfback against Brazil. In addition to his family, who have always supported him, he dedicated his goal to his native Romagna: "It was a difficult period for my land but I know the strength of my people and I am sure that, all together, we will come out of it".
Goalkeepers: Sebastiano Desplanches (Trento); Jacopo Sassi (Giugliano Calcio), Gioele Zacchi (Sassuolo);
Defenders: Filippo Fiumanò (Aquila Montevarchi); Alessandro Fontanarosa (Inter), Daniele Ghilardi (Mantova), Samuel Giovane (Ascoli), Gabriele Guarino (Empoli), Riccardo Turicchia (Juventus), Mattia Zanotti (Inter);
Midfielders: Tommaso Baldanzi (Empoli), Cesare Casadei (Reading F.C.), Duccio Degli Innocenti (Empoli), Giacomo Faticanti (Roma), Luca Lipani (Genoa), Niccolò Pisilli (Roma), Matteo Prati (SPAL);
Forwards: Giuseppe Ambrosino Di Bruttopilo (Cittadella), Francesco Pio Esposito (Inter), Daniele Montevago (Sampdoria), Simone Pafundi (Udinese).
Staff - Head of Delegation, Marcello Nicchi; Manager: Gianfranco Serioli ; Assistant Head Coach, Emanuele Filippini; Fitness Coach, Vito Azzone; Goalkeeping Coach, Fabrizio Ferron; Match Analyst, Marco Mannucci; Observer, Claudio Coppi; Doctors, Carmelo Papotto and Lorenzo Ticca; Physiotherapist, Giuseppe Galli and Tommaso Cannata; Nutritionist, Alessio Colli; Secretary, Aldo Blessich; Press Officer, Giuseppe Ingrati; Administration, Francesco Casella; Club Italia, Matteo Galdelli; Logistics, Carlo Fanano.
Groups and Cities
Group A: Argentina, Uzbekistan, Guatemala, New Zealand (Santiago del Estero);
Group B: Usa, Ecuador, Fiji, Slovakia (San Juan);
Group C: Senegal, Japan, Israel, Colombia (La Plata);
Group D: ITALY, Brazil, Nigeria, Dominican Republic (Mendoza);
Group E: Uruguay, Iraq, England, Tunisia (La Plata);
Group F: France, South Korea, Gambia, Honduras (Mendoza).
Group D schedule and standings
Sunday 21 May
Nigeria 2-1 Dominican Republic
ITALY 3-2 Brazil
Standings: Italy and Nigeria 3pt, Brazil and Dominican Republic 0
Wednesday 24 May
ITALY vs. Nigeria at 15:00 local time (20:00 CEST, live on Rai Sport), Stadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza
Brazil vs. Dominican Republic, alle 18 locali, Stadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza
Saturday 27 May
Brazil vs. Nigeria at 15:00 local time, La Plata
Dominican Republic vs. ITALY at 15:00 local time (20:00 CEST, live on Rai Sport), Stadio Malvinas Argentinas, Mendoza
DOWNLOAD THE FULL SCHEDULE HERE
(number of Under-20 World Cups won)
Argentina (six), Brazil (five), Portugal (two), Serbia (two), Ghana (one) Spain (one), Russia (one), Germany (one), England (one), France (one), Ukraine (one, current champions).