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World Cup hopes dashed for under 20s

Nigeria's third goal was decisive for Switzerland Keystone

Switzerland’s under-20 football team have been knocked out of the World Youth Championship in the Netherlands after losing 3-0 to Nigeria.

This content was published on June 18, 2005 - 18:10

It was the first time that the team had qualified for the tournament and the Swiss side were up against tough competition in their opening group.

Their defeat by Nigeria came after a 2-1 victory over South Korea and a 1-0 loss to defending champions Brazil. It put them at the bottom of their group.

Coach Pierre-André Schürmann’s team were outclassed by a Nigerian side which allowed them few chances.

The first Nigerian goal came five minutes into the second half and was scored by Chinedu Ogbuke.

It was followed just nine minutes later by a John Obi Mikel penalty.

The final goal came in the 85th minute thanks to a header by captain Promise Isaac.

Underdogs

Switzerland qualified for the tournament, which runs from June 10 to July 2, by reaching the semi-finals of last year’s under-19 European Championship.

But they entered the competition as underdogs. In the first round they were pitted against reigning world champions Brazil, as well as South Korea and Nigeria - both of which had won their qualifying group.

Captain Philippe Senderos acknowledged before the tournament that it would be tough but said he was confident his team could make an impression.

Nine of the current under-20s side played in the team that were crowned European under-17 champions in 2002.

swissinfo with agencies

Key facts

Nigeria – Switzerland: 3:0 (0:0)
Match played at Enschede in front of 5,000 spectators
Final classification (after three matches):
1. Brazil 7 points
2. Nigeria 4
3. South Korea 3 (3:5).
4. Switzerland 3 (2:5).

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