Thursday, October 29, 2015 8:46 am
Reigning FIFA U-17 World Cup champions Nigeria on Wednesday in Vina Del Mar advanced to a quarter-final meeting against Brazil at the ongoing 2015 edition in Chile.
The Golden Eaglets progressed by ending Australia’s run with a one-sided 6-0 victory, achieved on the back of a hat-trick from the impressive Victor Osimhen.
The tale of the game’s first half was compacted into a three-minute period with Nigeria scoring twice in that period, sandwiched either side of a gilt-edged opening for Australia.
It was 2-0 at the interval, and the game was still a contest until the final 17 minutes before Nigeria ran riot against an Australian side looking flat.
The Aussies started well, but it was Funsho Bamgboye who hit the post with a rasping shot from the penalty area’s edge as Nigeria’s first effort narrowly failed to hit target.
Breaking the deadlock came on 22 minutes as Osimhen showed just why he is the tournament’s leading goalscorer by bursting forward with pace and power on the left.
He then turned his defender and slid the ball impressively inside the far post.
Australia could have drawn level immediately with Cameron Joice seeing his shot saved, while Lucas Derrick pushed the follow-up wide as a golden opportunity was spurned.
Almost immediately Nigeria were two goals in front as Bambgboye went to ground in the penalty area, and Kelechi Nwakali coolly slotted home the resultant penalty kick.
The two goals seemed to inspire the Nigerians who took a greater hold as the half wore on, creating several half-openings around the Aussie goal.
Nigeria continued their powerful performance after the break, and although Australia dominated possession for periods, it was the Africans who ended the contest with a third.
Osimhen scored twice in the space of six minutes, the second with another laser-perfect drive into the top corner.
The deflated Aussies conceded two more goals in the dying minutes, with substitute Edidiong Essien and Samuel Chukwueze inflicting further pain as Nigeria stormed into the last-eight stage with confidence.
They will now meet three-times champions Brazil on Sunday in the quarter-finals at Estadio Sausalito in Vina Del Mar, after the South Americans beat New Zealand 1-0.
The other Round of 16 matches played on Wednesday saw Mexico beating hosts Chile 4-1, and Belgium 2-0 winners over South Korea.
What the Coaches said post match:
Tony Vidmar, Australia coach
“We played a big part in this result. In the previous matches we managed to put a high pressure on our rivals, that was key today. We had the possession, but did not do anything with it. Our lines began to separate between each other and with spaces, they are lethal. I hope these kids can take the good things out of these three weeks and improve from there. I know that myself, as a coach, took positive things in spite of today’s game” .
Emmanuel Amuneke, Nigeria Coach
“It was a very interesting match. We knew that Australia was a good team because they qualified from a very difficult group, but my players were able to recuperate themselves from the loss against Croatia and regained their level. Victor (Osimhen) had a great game, although the philosophy of this team is to play collectively. We are candidates to win the title, but so are Brazil. We will work to put up a good fight.”