The Flying Eagles advance to the quarter-final of the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup for the first time in 12 years after defeating host Argentina 2-0 at the Estadio San Juan del Bicentenario in the early hours of Thursday.
Second-half goals from Ibrahim Muhammad and Rilwanu Sarki secured a shock win for Ladan Bosso’s team.
They will face either Ecuador or South Korea in the quarter-final of the competition in Santiago del Estero on Sunday.
The Flying Eagles started brightly but as the first half wore on, La Albiceleste dominated play.
Striker Alejo Veliz had two scoring chances to break the deadlock as the break approached but missed those sitters.
First, his glancing header went narrowly wide in the 14th minute while his second attempt before the break was saved by Kingsley Aniagboso who was in goal for Nigeria.
In the 61st minute, The Flying Eagles broke the deadlock through Emmanuel Umeh when he flicked the ball over the top for Muhammad, who slotted home a low shot past goalkeeper Federico Gerth.
The goal saw Argentina pile the pressure in search of an equaliser and in the process they had 20 shots at goal as against Nigeria’s nine.
Javier Mascherano’s boys came agonisingly close when Luka Romero’s low drive from a distance hit the upright of the post for Daniel Bameyi to put the ball to safety.
In additional time, substitute Victor Eletu came off the bench for Ibrahim Muhammad to make an assist for Haliru Sarki to score Nigeria’s second on the night and secure a famous triumph for Nigeria for the first time in the competition since 2005.
Nigeria’s win on Thursday ended a run of 10 straight U-20 World Cup victories for Argentina. The young La Abliceleste had won all seven games when they hosted the tournament in 2001, and their first three at this edition.