Seyi Akinwunmi The First Vice President of Nigeria Football Federation, Barrister Seyi Akinwunmi, has charged the Nigeria U20 team to go all out in their semi final clash with Mali at the Africa U20 Cup of Nations in Niamey on Wednesday.Speaking after Mali pipped Ghana’s Black Satellites 1-0 to reach the semi finals and pick the last available ticket to the FIFA U20 World Cup finals in Poland this summer, Akinwunmi, who was Match Commissioner for the Mali/Ghana encounter, said he has confidence in the Flying Eagles to reach Sunday’s final.“I watched the Flying Eagles against the host team and the fact that they were able to hold their own in such atmosphere is confirmation that they know what is at stake and have the mettle to face even the strongest opposition. “The Malians are strong, but so are all the four teams in the semi finals. The NFF will continue to give all necessary support for the Flying Eagles to go all the way by winning the trophy.”Akinwunmi, in Niger Republic as a Member of the CAF Committee for Youth Competitions, had also visited the Flying Eagles at their training session last Thursday.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Tiny Iceland made a stunning first-ever World Cup appearance on Saturday when they held 2014 runners-up Argentina to a 1-1 draw in a dramatic match where Lionel Messi blew his chance to win it when he had a penalty saved by Hannes Por Halldorsson.Here are five things we learned. ICELAND MAKES HISTORYWho thought Iceland’s first goal in the world cup will come against Argentina? Finnbogasson has inked his name in the history books as he secured Iceland’s first world cup goal.AGUERO LETHALIn a game where Messi failed to respond to Cristiano Ronaldo’s 3 goal heroics, Sergio Aguero proved that he is a top marksman. He scored the first goal in the 19th minute with typical awareness, proving that he can come up with surprises of his own. MESSI’S PENALTY CURSE RESURFACESIn the 64th minute, Lionel Messi stepped up to take a spot kick and in an all too familiar scene, he missed!!! A worrying trend as Messi is supposed to be the man to lead his team into world cup glory. Definitely, I think that it will be too early to write off Lionel Messi. For Messi’s quality, it will be detrimental to judge him by this performance but the multimillion dollar question is: will Messi put today’s game behind him and come back roaring in the next games?ARGENTINA NEEDS MORE ATTACKING AUDACITYEven though Argentina had the lion’s share of possession, they didn’t do enough to earn a victory. Messi and his men found it very difficult to break through a very tight Iceland defense. Argentina’s build-up play was very slow as they passed the ball from side to side and most often, without any sense of urgency. Argentina did play with some urgency getting to the end of the game but it was too little, too late. Di Maria was simply lost in the game whereas Messi was kept at bay by a spirited Iceland team. In Iceland’s defensive third, Messi was quickly closed down by three players anytime he had the ball. In the absence of Messi’s sparkle, Argentina’s attack was a bit flat and they need to improve on that if they are to live to their high expectations.ICELAND, DISCIPLINED AND IMMENSE After conceding in the 19th minute, Iceland responded with a goal of their own just 4 minutes later. Iceland were spirited on the night. They defended in their numbers and made it very difficult for Argentina. They also created very decent opportunities and showed that they have what it takes to hurt any caliber of opposition they face. Hallfredsson was very immense as he performed a yeo man’s job on Messi. He closed him down very quickly and offered the little magician very limited time to weave his magic. They were very massive and intense against this star-studded Argentinian side. Iceland means business. —Follow the World Cup with the Multimedia Group! With live English radio commentary on Joy 99.7 FM radio, Akan radio commentary on Asempa 94.7 FM and livestreaming on Myjoyonline.com, we’ve got you covered all-tournament long.