A Preview of Nigeria's Opponents | 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand

 Going to New Zealand as Africa’s U20 Champions put Flying Eagles on the spotlight. Many pundits have already included the Nigerian side as one of the favorites to win 2015 FIFA U20 World cup.

It’s interesting because if this impressive Nigeria team wins in New Zealand, it would be for the very first time. Nigeria have been in the finals twice in 1989 and 2005, but lost in both occasions to Portugal and Argentina respectively.

In this edition, Nigeria will be playing Brazil on June 2nd, Korea DPR on June 5, and Hungary on June 8 – that’s in Group E. Here we preview Flying Eagles’ opponents at the Group stage to give fans a brief insight of what to expect.

1. Brazilian U20 National Team returns to the tournament after missing out in 2013. The team finished runners-up behind Uruguay in Group B at the South American Championship.

Brazil's U20 National Team

Style of Play:
The current Brazilian U20 team adopted a defensive set up, crowding the midfield and the defense line. But the team struggled for goals at the South American U20 Championship due to poor finishing rather than a lack of invention. A couple of long range passes and pile drivers from powerful forward Thalies and swashbuckling skills of 17 years old Malcolm bring a different diversity to the team.

Star Players:
The team builds around Marcos Guilheme, Nathan and Malcolm. These three possesses masterful creative skills that can reek down any team’s midfield and defense-line.

Brazil's U20 Star Player: Marcos Guilherme

However, the diminutive attacking midfielder Marcos Guilherme stands out, scoring 4 goals at the South American Championship.

The Coach:
The Brazilian side is coached by Alexandre Gallo, former Coach of FC Tokyo of Japan. Gallo became Brazil’s U20 coach in 2013, following Brazil’s failure to qualify for that year’s FIFA U20 World cup.

2. Korea DPR U20 National team also returns after missing out in Turkey 2013. They qualify for this edition by reaching the finals of the AFC U19 Championship only to be edged out by Qatar 1 – 0.

Korea DPR U20 National Team

Style of Play:
On the surface, the team is a typical Korea DPR style, playing with trademark fighting spirit and extra ordinary stamina for soaking up pressures before hitting teams on the break.

They employed what looked like a conservative game plan into the lead-up to the semi-finals. But emerged a different team against Uzbekistan, dominating the Semi-Finals from start to finish as they ran out 5 – 0 winner.

Star Players:
The most dangerous player is offensive midfielder Jo Kwang  Myong, the tournament’s joint top scorer, who netted five goals including a hat trick against Uzbekistan.

Korea DPR Star Player: Jo Kwang Myong (No 13)

Providing the ammunition is Ri Un Choi, while So-Jong Hyok form a formiable front-line with Kim Yu Song.

The Coach:
The team coach is Ye Gun Cut, an enigmatic figure at the AFC U19 championship. Not a familiar name in Asia, but he quickly proved his quality at AFC U19 Championship.

3. Hungary U20 National Team only qualified for the upcoming tournament by skin of their teeth. They finished third in Group A, just enough to book a place on the plane to New Zealand.

Hungary U20 National Team

The team struggled although UEFA U19 Championship. Lost two games and managed to win against Israel 1 – 0.

Style of Play:
The Hungarian team adopted a typical European free-flow style of 4-3-3, but lacked the will-power to attack its opponent and lost several golden opportunities of clerical finishing. Sometimes, the defense-line looked very porous in their coordination.

Star Players: Szabolics Varga showcased his talents in three appearances and 159 minutes of action. The forward scored once and provided two assists. More of the same is Kwi Soil, the man from Dutch club SC Heerenveen; then left back Kriszhan tamas, now on loan to Series B side AS Varese, is another player set to cause a stir in New Zealand.

Hungary Star Player: Szabolic Varga

The Coach:
The team Coach is Geza Meszoly, a former defender of the Hungarian national team. Best rememberedfor a successful spell in France with AC le Havre and Lille OSC.

Nigeria U20 National team

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