FIFA U-20 World Cup: Nigeria, Tunisia’s Potential Opponents

FIFA U-20 World Cup: Nigeria, Tunisia’s Potential Opponents
Credit: Iconsport

The knockout stages of the FIFA U-20 World Cup will feature three African nations: Nigeria, the Gambia, and Tunisia. Africa's representatives at the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup, Gambia, Tunisia, and Nigeria, will face tricky opponents in the Round of 16 but will fancy their chances to make history. Read on as we preview who the African sides could face later in the competition.

Nigeria

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles started the FIFA U-20 World Cup held in Argentina with impressive wins. With high hopes of winning the most prestigious trophy in youth football, they defeated the Dominican Republic 2-1 on Matchday one before beating Italy 2-0 on the second Matchday of Group D. These six points secured Nigeria a spot in the Round of 16 of the tournament.

The Flying Eagles suffered their first defeat to five-time champions Brazil (2-0) in their last group game to finish third in their prospective group on goal difference. Notably, the loss was the Flying Eagles' only defeat so far.

In the Round of 16 of the FIFA U-20 World Cup, the Flying Eagles will trade tackles with the unbeaten hosts, Argentina. The game will be held at the Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario and kick-off at 10 PM Nigerian time.

If the Flying Eagles advance, they will play either a physically strong Ecuador or a fast-paced South Korea. Moreover, if Nigeria makes it to the semi-finals, they would face Colombia, England, Italy, or Slovakia.

Tunisia

Tunisia is the last African national team that made it to the Round of 16; they qualified as one of the best third-placed teams in the group stage. They finished third behind England and Uruguay.

They lost their opening game 1-0 to England U-20 but grabbed three precious points after their 3-0 victory against Iraq. While they lost to Uruguay in their final group stage match, they progressed into the Round of 16 as one of the best third-placed sides.

They received a gift from France, who needed only one more goal to take Tunisia's spot in the Round of 16 as one of the four best third-placed teams.

The Tunisians will be hoping to make it count as they face Brazil in the Round of 16. The game will take on Wednesday, and Bein Sports will stream it for free on their open channel (beIn Sports HD). If the Carthage Eagles make it to the next round, they will take on debutant Israel, who reached this stage after an outlandish 97th-minute goal to upend Uzbekistan 1-0 in dramatic fashion.

Tunisia will face the USA, the Gambia, or Uruguay if they progress into the semifinals.

Gambia

The Gambia is the only unbeaten African national team in the FIFA U-20 World Cup. The Gambia U-20 team finished in the top spot in Group F, as they won their two first games and tied in their last group stage game. They started the tournament with a well-deserved victory against Honduras U-20 (2-1), and then they defeated France U-20 with the same score. Their winning streak ended in a goalless draw against the Korea Republic, securing first place in Group F.

The Baby Scorpions will play Uruguay on Thursday in the battle to reach the last eight. If the Gambia confirms its favouritism, they could challenge the United States, who made it to the quarterfinals by beating New Zealand 4-0. We could see an African semifinal if both Gambia and Tunisia reach the semis.

31 May

  • Brazil vs. Tunisia (La Plata Stadium)
  • Argentina vs. Nigeria (San Juan Stadium)

1 June

  • The Gambia vs Uruguay (Santiago del Estero Stadium)

In the Round of 16, there must be a winner on the day, and any matches that are tied after 90 minutes will head into extra time and, if necessary, a penalty shootout.

According to the tournament rules, since the third-place match falls on the same day and in the same stadium as the final, the teams will go straight to penalty kicks in case of a draw after 90 minutes. The losers of the semifinal clashes will face each other, and the semifinal winners will meet in the final game on June 11.

This article was most recently revised and updated 11 months ago

Chandan is a passionate writer, editor, and marketer with a love for football. He has bylines in leading online publications and has worked with renowned sports brands like The Olympics, Fox Sports Asia, and the Indian Super League (ISL). As for the unimpressive part, he loves Chelsea.