In 1999, Nigeria gained the correct to host the 12th version of the FIFA World Youth Championship. That was the 12 months; the Flying Eagles had been tagged “wobbling and fumbling”. They began their World Cup marketing campaign on house soil on a relatively embarrassing notice, with a 1-1 draw towards lowly rated Costa Rica with Julius Aghahowa scoring the opener within the 20th minutes of play, earlier than selecting up their act towards Germany, whom they defeated 2-0. The objectives had been scored by Ganiyu Shittu and Hashimu Garba within the 69th and 81st Minutes respectively.

Their final group match was towards Paraguay, and so they fumbled earlier than a capability crowd that had come to cheer them to victory. The sport towards Paraguay led to favor of Paraguay 2-1 with Ganiyu Shittu scoring the comfort aim within the 38th Minutes of play. The Flying Eagles nonetheless managed to qualify for the spherical of 16 by the pores and skin of their tooth.

Within the spherical of 16, the Flying Eagles labored to safe a 1-1 draw towards Eire with the equalizing aim coming from diminutive striker Pius Ikedia within the 70th Minute. The sport then went into penalty shoot out, and tens of millions of Nigerians had their coronary heart of their mouth all through the length of the kicks. It will definitely went in the way in which of the Flying Eagles who scrapped by means of 5-3. Pius Ikedia, Gbenga Okunowo, John Aranka, Eddy Dombraye and Ganiyu Shittu all transformed their spot kicks. Thomas Heary of the Republic of Eire missed his spot kick to set a Quarter closing pairing between Nigeria and Mali.

The Flying Eagles had their work lower out, as discovered the Malians too sizzling to deal with within the quarterfinal conflict performed on the Nnamdi Azikiwe stadium in Enugu japanese Nigeria. The Malians had been so ruthless within the quarterfinal conflict, that they inflicted a 3-1 defeat on the hapless Eagles who couldn’t fly when it mattered most. The chief tormentor of the Flying Eagles was Malian enterprising midfielder Seydou Keita who later emerges because the Adidas Golden ball award winner.

The defeat of the hapless Flying Eagles triggered a variety of uproar within the sporting circle, with the eventual sack of Dutch Coach Thijs Libregts from the technical crew of the Nigeria U-20 Nationwide crew. The crew had a variety of potentials, however they may not absolutely make the most of their full potential. Some notable gamers from that crew embrace: Joseph Yobo, Rabiu Afolabi, Julius Aghahowa, Haruna Babangida and Late goalkeeper Sam Okoye.