Emil Larsen scored three goals as Denmark thumped Nigeria 6-2 in the Suwon International Youth tournament on Saturday at the Goyang Sports Complex.
The Columbus Crew forward exploited a shaky Dream Team backline to power his side six goals up before a late rally from the Nigeria pull two back courtesy a brace from substitute Abdulrahman Taiwo.
Having defeated Honduras 4-3 in their opening game, the Danish coach made 10-changes against Samson Siasia’s men as they dominated proceedings from kick off.
Nicolai Brock-Madsen’s ninth minute penalty was saved by goalkeeper Emmanuel Daniel after Erhun Obanor had handled the ball in the penalty area. And three minutes later, Taiwo Awoniyi missed a glorious chance as his header went inches over the cross bar.
Obanor played the spoiler in the 26th minute when he scored an own goal in an attempt to clear his defence line after a pullout from the Danish side.
The goal seems to have woken the Dream Team VI from slumber as they searched for an equaliser with Awoniyi missed Sincere Seth’s cross – though goalkeeper Lukas Fernandes was well positioned to make a good catch.
In what can be dubbed as a moment of carelessness from the African U23 champions, Larsen pounced on their defensive follies to get the second and third strike for Denmark in the 34th and 38th minute respectively.
The Columbus Crew man then put the icing on the cake when he completed his treble in the 54th minute, three minutes after languid Awoniyi had missed a sitter.
A thrilling second half continued as the Danish side hit their fifth through Patrick da Silva before Emiliano Marcondes powered in the sixth after 75 minutes to the dismay of the Nigerian fans.
However, with less than fourth minutes to go, substitute Abdulrahman got two consolatory goals as the Dream Team VI’s aspiration of winning the championship faded into thin air after they had lost the first game 1-0 to hosts, South Korea.
Siasia’s men face Honduras in their last game of the championship on Monday – then return home to continue preparations for the 2016 Olympics where they are zoned alongside Colombia, Sweden and Japan in Group B.