The Golden Eaglets crushed Muwafaq Adlool’s side to secure a place in the knock out round of the Fifa U17 Championship in the United Arab Emirates
Nigeria returned to winning ways as they brushed aside debutants Iraq 5-0 in their last group game played at the Iraq Al Rashid Stadium in Dubai.
Manu Garba's team put up an impressive showing after surviving the Scandinavian scare in their last game to shoot into the lead as early as the third minute courtesy of Musa Muhammed’s well placed penalty kick after Musa Yahaya was fouled in the penalty area of the sians.
Chidiebere Nwakili doubled the lead 17 seconds later after scoring off a rebound from goalkeeper Hayder Mohammed who blocked a goal bound shot from the Eaglets captain, Muhammed. The rout continued in the 17th minute with Musa Yahaya getting his first of the afternoon with a cool finish after displacing the Iraqi backline.
Sensing imminent danger ahead, coach Adlool made an early substitution – bringing on Yasir Ammar for Al Talaba SC defence stalwart, Mustapha Mohammed. This change paid off as the Iraqis kept the Nigerians within their own half.
The Asians had their best chance of the game in the 33rd minute but Dele Alampasu was up to the task as he made a double save to deny Sajjad Hussein of a goal.
Yahaya got his second of the night in the 41st minute after his header off a corner kick that left the opponent’s goalie with no chance.
On resumption of the second half, the Asians looked more composed and could have scored at least two goals but for the heroics of Alampasu who thwarted every goal scoring effort of the Bashar Resan inspired attack.
Awoniyi was a key reason why the Eaglets could not add to their goal tally as he lost key chances- one of which was a clear cut opportunity in the 66th minute when he blasted wide his shot over the cross bar with only the goalkeeper to beat.
When it looked like the game was going to end without any more goals, second half substitute Chigozie Obasi added the fifth with a screamer in the 90th minute after the Iraqi failed to clear their defence line.
With this result, Nigeria top Group F of the championship and will now play Group E’s runners up in the second round to be played on October 29 at the Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain.