Sport report gathered that Flying Eagles on Tuesday defeated German side Hoffenheim U23s in their first of three friendlies lined up to prepare them for the U20 World Cup, which will kick off on May 30 in New Zealand.
Second half substitute Taiwo Awoniyi was the star of the match grabbing a hat-trick, while Chidera Ezeh and Godwin Saviour scored a goal each to secure a 5-2 win over their German opponents in the training match, which was played at the Hoffenheim sports ground, Germany.
The African champions, who are in the same group with five-time champions Brazil, Korea and Hungary, scored first through Saviour, and shortly after the Germans equalised.
Eze restored Flying Eagles’ lead but the Germans made it 2-2 just before half time.
With the introduction of Awoniyi with 35 minutes to go, the pendulum swung in the Nigerians direction as he went on to strike thrice in quick succession.
The match is expected to influence coach Manu Garba’s choice of players that will make up his 21-man list for the World Cup.
Players like Musa Yahaya, Godwin Saviour and Kingsley Sokari, who were not part of the African Youth Championship-winning squad and Genk’s Wilfred Ndidi are hopefuls.
Manchester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho is expected in camp before Friday when the final squad list for the World Cup in New Zealand will be announced.
The Flying Eagles are billed to face Nurnberg U23s on Friday and Freiburg U23s on Tuesday, May 19.