Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets have qualified for the Round of 16 at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup following their 5-1 bashing of the host, Chile, in the wee hours of Wednesday at the Estadio SausalitoVina Del Mar.
Eaglets’ midfielder, Samuel Chukwueze, struck after 15 seconds from kick off to score Nigeria’s third fastest goal in the history of Under-17 World Cup.
Chukwueze performed the feat of Wilson Oruma and Kanu Nwankwo in the 1993 edition of the tournament.
Both former players scored in the 9th and 39th seconds respectively.
Brazil’s Sadilo and Relso were the holders of the fastest goal records, who had scored in the 9th and 14th seconds since 1985 when the tournament kicked off. Kelechi Nwakali made it two from the spot in the 17th minute of the tie.
The Chileans attempted to redeem their image in the second half by controlling play but their efforts were put at bay by the resolute Nigerians with the Nigerian goalkeeper, Udoh, making brilliant saves.
Chukwueze again hit the target in the 61st minute to put the game away from the opponent’s reach, just as Victor Osimhen’s double strikes in the 66th and 86th minutes sealed victory for Nigeria.
Marcelo Allende grabbed a consolatory goal for the hosts in the 81st minute, which was too little, too late to pacify the 18 million home fans.
What could have been the sixth goal was blown away by Nwakali, who shot wide from the penalty spot. This would have equaled France’s 6-1 win over New Zealand in one of the opening group games of the tournament.
Nigeria’s Funsho Bamgboye was sent off few minutes from the final whistle as the four-time World Champions were reduced to 10 men.
Nigeria plays her final group game against Croatia on Friday, which is a mere formality, as the Eaglets have won the group ahead of the Round of 16 stage of the competition.
The Eaglets lead the group with unassailable six points. Croatia has two points, while USA and Chile have one point each.