The Flying Eagles finally had a feel of the Stadium Taranaki pitch Saturday afternoon ahead of their much-anticipated showdown with Brazil.
The Nigeria U-20s trained at the 11,000-capacity stadium from 1pm local time, which was 2am Saturday in Nigeria.
The Group E showdown between the Flying Eagles and Brazil will also kick off at that time on Monday.
Flying Eagles' marksmen Chidera Ezeh, Kelechi Iheanacho and Taiwo Awoniyi
Flying Eagles’ marksmen Chidera Ezeh, Kelechi Iheanacho and Taiwo Awoniyi
Top officials disclosed that already 6,000 tickets have been snapped up for this clash with hopes that more tickets will be sold before the big kick-off as “New Zealanders are known to take their time in making purchases”.
Hundreds of school children also watched the team train and later got autographs from the African champions.
Thursday was a most eventful day for the Flying Eagles as they were officially welcomed by FIFA and both players and officials did their accreditation for the World Cup.
Celebrity English referee Howard Webb took the team through some basic dos and don’ts on the pitch and later posed for photos with the team.
The Flying Eagles were also received Maori style in the evening, along with their Group E rivals Brazil, Hungary and North Korea.
Leader of the Nigeria delegation Ahmed Yusuf ‘Fresh’ thanked the local organizing committee for the warm reception, while wishing all the teams best of luck in the competition.
The Flying Eagles rendered a local song to the appreciation of onlookers, just as the other teams did.
“It was similar to what we are used to back home in Nigeria, but for the kissing with the nose (honking),” said midfielder Kingsley Sokari.
“It was a wonderful experience and we are now better for this,” added teammate Ifeanyi Ifeanyi.
NFF Admin
Author: NFF Admin

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