Nigeria’s Flying Eagles Suffer Heartbreak in the FIFA U-20 World Cup Quarterfinals

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles Suffer Heartbreak in the FIFA U-20 World Cup Quarterfinals
Credit: @naijasportscrib Twitter

Nigeria’s Flying Eagles were in action against South Korea at Estadio Unico Madre de Ciudades in the city of Santiago del Estero on Sunday, for a semi-final ticket in the ongoing FIFA U-20 World Cup in Argentina.

Expectations were high for the Flying Eagles after dispatching the host in the Round of 16, and showing signs of going all the way to the finals.

Having been the better side for most of the game with sparse chances created, Ladan Bosso's boys paid the price for their lack of cutting edge in front of goal. A Seok-Hyun Choi goal from a corner in the 95th minute of extra time was all South Korea needed to knock the two-time runners-up of the FIFA U-20 World Cup out of the tournament. A FIFA U-20 title dream that got destroyed.

South Korea vs Nigeria Flying Eagles: As It Happened

Nigeria had full control of the ball in the first 30 minutes of the match but without really troubling the South Korean goalie.

Around the 32nd minute, South Korea began to hold the ball, dictating the pace of the game with their one-two touches, trying to make good use of their spell with the ball.

In the 43rd minute, Nigeria should have gone ahead. Daniel Bameyi was in good position after receiving a pass from the edge of the box, but his attempt at goal went over the bar! What a miss!

Second Half

The second half started like the first half, Nigeria controlling the match. In the 49th minute, Flying Eagles captain Daniel Bameyi had a crack from outside the box but Joon-Hong Kim, the Korean goalkeeper, saved!

Korea had a chance to take the lead themselves at the 59th minute as Korea’s Lee had a long range effort that went inches over the bar. What a let-off!

Shortly after that, Ladan Bosso brought on Umeh Emmanuel for Salem Lawal Fago who had been inefficient for Nigeria.

Victor Eletu carved another dangerous opportunity for Nigeria’s opener, but after going through a host of Korean players, his left-footed shot was palmed away by a full-stretched Joon-Hong.

In the ensuing minutes, both teams offered little to nothing as the game tapered into extra time with the scoreline goalless.

Extra Time

Having reserved energy for most of the game, the South Koreans began to look dangerous in the extra time. Just five minutes into the extra period, Korea broke the deadlock. A corner was swung in from the right. Seok-Hyun found himself unmarked, and his well-placed header sailed beyond a stunned Kingsley Aniagboso and into the net! It was Korea scoring from a corner, shocking!

Nigerian Goalkeeper Aniagboso
Nigerian Goalkeeper Aniagboso

After going a goal down, out-of-steam Flying Eagles tried to restore parity as the extra time began to roll past Nigeria.

Despite the late rally, the Flying Eagles could not draw level as Korea progressed at Nigeria's expense to the semi-final. A painful defeat for Nigeria who registered 21 shots with just 3 on target, their forwards failing to deliver on the night.

South Korea will face Italy on Thursday. The Italians defeated Colombia 3-1 on Saturday to book their ticket into the semi-finals.

This article was most recently revised and updated 11 months ago

Joseph is a graduate engineer turned sports writer, he has covered lots of sports stories, match previews and predictions across various leagues on the planet.