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FIFA U-20 W/C: Awoniyi brace sends F/Eagles into last-16


The Flying Eagles squad for the New Zealand FIFA U-20 World Cup
The Flying Eagles squad for the New Zealand FIFA U-20 World Cup

A goal in each half by the towering Flying Eagles forward ensured Manu Garba’s team reached the last-16 of the Fifa U20 World Cup in New Zealand

The Nigeria U20 team, fuelled by a deafening noise at the Stadium Taranaki, put their Hungarian opponents to the sword 2-0 in the final Group E game played on Sunday morning.

A brace from Taiwo Awoniyi was all the reigning African youth champions needed to silence Bernd Storck’s team who started the game brightly.

With this victory, the Flying Eagles will now face European champions, Germany in the second round of the tournament billed for June 11 at the Christchurch Stadium.

The Flying Eagles’ first chance came in the 16th minute when Awoniyi’s short range header was saved by goalkeeper Gyorgy Szekely, who gave a good account of himself in the highly entertaining encounter.

When it looked like the first half would end goalless, Awoniyi got the curtain raiser in the 33rd minute after volleying past Szekely from the near post after receiving a low cross from impressive Saviour Godwin.

On resumption of the second half, Manu Garba’s team continued their dominant play – though Mario Nemeth had a couple of chances to put his team back but Joshua Enaholo put up a brave fight.

In the 54th minute, Awoniyi doubled his lead after rounding the Hungarian goalkeeper before slotting into an empty net after a moment of carelessness from the Europeans’ backline.

No goals were recorded after then, as Nigeria cruised to the last 16 where they will face Germany in the knock out phase.

Even at this defeat, Hungary still qualified as one of the best third-placed teams and will now kick off the knock out phase against Group D winners Serbia in Dunedin.

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