The Golden Eaglets of Nigeria have been knocked out of the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup in Brazil.
A Sontje Hansen’s hat-trick was all the Netherlands needed to see off the African footballing giants, and book a place in the quarterfinal of the competition. The game ended 3-1 and means that Nigeria’s quest for a sixth World Cup title have been dashed. Slight mistakes from the Nigerian defense saw the West Africans concede two goals in the first 20 minutes at the Estadio Olimpico, Goiana, in the early hours of Wednesday (match started 12am WAT), November 6, 2019.
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Hansen gifted the Oranje the lead in the 4th minute of the encounter but the hard-fighting Nigerian side would get an equalizer in the 12th minute, after a fine pass from Akinkunmi Amoo located Olakunle Olusegun, who finished off brilliantly to register his only goal at the competition. Five-time champions Nigeria, found themselves trailing the Europeans again in just three minutes after Hansen got scored second goal for the night in the 15th minute. Nigeria’s Eaglets started the second half with more attacking flair, wining two corner-kicks in the first two minutes but were unable to convert any into a goal.
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Coach Manu Garba made some significant changes in the second-half, replacing Peter Olawale in the 61st minute with Divine Nwachukwu, and Ibrahim Sa’id for Ibrahim Jabaar in the 64th minute, but the Netherlands goalkeeper, Raastie, made some crucial saves to deny Nigeria an equalizer. A handball from Ferdinand Ikenna in the 18-yard box was spotted by VAR in the 81st minute, and Hansen stepped up to complete his hat-trick and sealed a place in the quarter-final for the Dutch.
Featured Image Source: BBC
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