The Joeys' FIFA U-17 World Cup adventure is over after Nigeria defeated Australia 6-0 in the Round of 16 thanks in large part to a hat-trick from lethal striker Victor Osimhen.
It started off as an end-to-end match that could seemingly go either way, but four-time FIFA U-17 World Cup winners Nigeria were ruthless over 90 minutes.
The Nigerians had the first clear opportunity of the match as Funsho Bamgboye hit the woodwork after cutting inside from the left wing, and driving a shot that cannoned off the near post.
Both sides had their chances in the opening quarter of an hour, but it was the Nigerians that struck first through Victor Osimhen, winning a foot race off of a long ball down the left wing, cutting inside and hitting it across Duro Dragicevic into the far corner to give Nigeria a 1-0 lead.
The Joeys had a golden opportunity to level the scores just minutes after, when captain Joe Caletti found Lucas Derrick at the top of the 18-yard-box with a brilliant chip.
His shot was parried well by Nigerian keeper Akpan Udoh, but Cameron Joice couldn’t put the rebound on target.
It was with a swift counter that the Nigerians got their second goal, with another direct ball causing the Australian defence some trouble down the left hand side once again, and forcing them into giving away a penalty on the edge of the box.
Nigerian captain Kelechi Nwakali stepped up and made no mistake, placing the ball firmly into the bottom right corner to make it 2-0.
The second half was more fruitful for the Australians, but they struggled to break down a Nigerian defence that was sitting deep and happy with their two-goal lead.
It was the counter that would be the Joeys’ undoing once again. A hopeful, deep cross caught the Australian defence unawares, and it was again Osimhen again on hand to bag his brace and put the game beyond doubt.
The Nigerians turned on the afterburners in the final 10 minutes, with Osimhen completing his hat-trick, while Edidong Essien and Samuel Chukwueze added goals five and six respectively.