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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE

Golden Eaglets celebrates
their Victory in Brazil
Nigeria became the first team to reach the Round of 16 of the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup finals in Brazil on Tuesday night on the back of a superlative hat –trick by forward Ibrahim Sa’id.

Playing at the Estadio Olympic, the Eaglets got off to a good start when Ibrahim Sa’id gave Nigeria the lead inside five minutes from close to 35yards after a defensive lap in the Ecuadorian area.

An unfortunate own goal by Nigerian keeper Daniel Jinadu in the 10th minute saw Ecuador level as Meja’s effort from 25 yards came off the foot of the post and ricocheted via his back and into the net.
Ecuador would go on to take the lead from the spot as VAR spotted Etim foul and awarded a penalty which was converted by Mina.

Two goals in the last five minutes of second half turned the table against a well –organized and cohesive Ecuador in Goiania.
Nigeria however pulled out their second comeback win of the tournament as Sa’id got two more goal in the last minutes of regulation time to complete is hattrick, with his third goal  being a gorgeous and well placed strike.

The Eaglets had endeavour, enthusiasm and pace, but were easily checkmated by the strong and highly coordinated Ecuadorians. Two minutes to the end of the first period, substitute Akinkunmi Amoo found Sa’id in the box, but the latter could not get the decisive touch needed to pull Nigeria level before the break.

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Golden Eaglets, pushed, searched and frisked with determination, just as they did against Hungary in their first game before scoring three goals in six minutes in the second half to beat the Europeans 4-2 for the important three points at stake.
Short and stray passes in the opposition’s critical zone, anxiety and wayward shooting did not help the Eaglets’ search for goals as time wore on.

Five minutes later, it was Sa’id again, blasting past Lopez from inside the box from a determined team move. Lopez got his hand to the ball but it was too hot to halt its flight into the net.
The win takes Nigeria into the last 16 of the tournament having recorded two wins from their first two matches.
The Eaglets will play Australia in their last group stage match on Friday, 1st Nov 2019

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