The Golden Eaglets’ of Nigeria have been knocked out of the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup finals in Brazil after losing 3-1 to the Netherlands in their Round of 16 clash in Goiania in the early hours of Wednesday in Nigeria.
The Dutch lost their first two matches of the competition and only got into the knockout stage when they defeated USA 4-0 in their final group phase encounter.
Nigeria, on the other hand, topped Group B following wins over Hungary and Ecuador and a shock defeat to Australia.
The Five-time champions’ untidy habit of conceding early in their games proved ill-advised this time, as Sontje Hansen scored in the fourth minute and then followed up with two more goals to render Olakunle Olusegun’s goal from a blistering shot in the 12th minute of no effect.
After Olusegun cancelled Hansen’s first goal, the Nigerian youngsters had themselves to blame for Hansen’s second, which arrived no thanks to sloppy defending of a free kick in the 15th minute.
A poorly cleared ball fell at the feet of the gifted Hansen at the edge of the box, and he let fly a rasping drive that goalkeeper Daniel Jinadu had no answer to.
In the second half, coach Manu Garba introduced Divine Nwachukwu and Ibraheem Jabaar while withdrawing Peter Olawale and Sa’id, but the Eaglets could find no way back into the game in the manner they did against Hungary and Ecuador in their first two games.
Rather, 11 minutes from time, the Video Assistant Referee detected a handball by Clement Ikenna as Nigeria defended another Dutch onslaught, and Hansen swept the ball past Jinadu for Netherlands’ third goal.