Nigeria are through to the last four of the 2015 Fifa U17 World Cup after beating Brazil 3-0 at the Estadio Sausalito, Vina Del Mar on Sunday night.
First half strikes from Victor Osimhen, Michael Dogo Kingsley and Udochukwu Anumudu were enough to send the South Americans crashing.
Much has been made of Nigeria’s reliance on goal scorer Osimhen during the tournament in Chile , but they proved they are no one-man team with an impressive display in Vina Del Mar on Sunday.
Osimhen once again led by example as he surpassed Chrisantus Macaulay’s tally of seven goals in a Fifa U17 World Cup tournament, but it was goalkeeper Akpan Udoh who proved to be Golden Eaglets’s potent weapon as he made breathe taking saves to deny the Brazilians who were made to pay for their missed chances.
With chances few and far between, it took a moment of brilliance from Osimhen to put the Golden Eaglets ahead in the 29th minute with a header via John Lazarus cross.
A minute later, Emmanuel Amuneke’s boys doubled the lead. Osimhen hooked a bouncing ball back over his shoulder, with Michael following in, the ball bounced up off the turf and past goalkeeper Juliano Marlon.
The Atlético Paranaense player was deceived by another bounce just four minutes later, as Anumudu hit a left-footed drive from distance. The effort skipped off the turf, and past the stopper, who was visibly unhappy at not keeping the shot out.
In the second half, the Eaglets were brimming with confidence, but they were almost caught out four minutes after the break, when Luis Henrique’ powerful header flew narrowly wide after he was picked out by an inviting Militao’s cross.
Coach Carlos Amadeu threw men forward in an attempt to force game into extra time but that did not yield any result as goalkeeper Akpan was at his best.
Funsho Bamgboye picked up a needless yellow card and will now miss Golden Eaglets game in Coquimbo.
Nwakali then spurned a chance to finish Brazil off 12 minutes into time added on when he raced clear, but Juliano stood tall to thwart him.
Nigeria defended defiantly during injury time to seal their semi-final spot against Ecuador or Mexico and continue their quest for a fifth world title.