The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria have qualified for the second round of 16 at the ongoing 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Brazil.
A Sa’id Ibrahim’s hat trick was all the West African side needed to book their place in the next phase of the tournament with a hard-fought 3-2 victory against Ecuador in their Group B tie, which was held at the Estadio Olimpico, Giaonia, on Tuesday, October 29, 2019. Sa’id was impressive for the entire duration of the game, netting all three goals for the Eaglets, while Ecuador got their goals from a Daniel Jinadu own goal, and a penalty kick from Johan Mina.
Nigeria and Ecuador entered the game with the intention of sealing a spot in the second round after each winning their first matches, but it was the African side that took the lead after Sa’id capitalized on a defensive blunder to gift Nigeria the lead in the 5th minute of the encounter.
It would take the South American side just a few minutes to bring themselves back into the encounter through an own goal from Nigerian shot-stopper, Daniel Jinadu in the 10th minute. The Eaglets dominated proceedings in the remaining part of the first-half but scoring a second proved difficult for the hard-pressing Nigerian side. Ecuador took the lead in the 56th minute after an intervention from the VAR awarded them a penalty which was converted by Johan Andreé Mina.
The South Americans looked to be heading towards victory before a cool finish by Sa’id from outside the box gifted Nigeria the equalizer in the 86th minute. Sa’id’s night was far from over until he netted a third in the 89th minute to hand Nigeria victory and seal a spot for the nation in the knockout rounds. Nigeria will confront Australia in their last group game on Friday, November 1, 2019.
Featured Image Source: Silverbird TV
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