Australia U17 2-1 Nigeria U17: Wasteful Golden Eaglets bow in final group match
After securing back-to-back wins in their first two games, Manu Garba’s boys failed to end their group campaign on a high
Noah Botic’s efforts in each half of the encounter did the damage for the Joeys while Pete Olawale’s equaliser was not enough to inspire Nigeria to victory.
The Golden Eaglets had already booked their spot in the Round of 16 before the game and the defeat had no effect in their progress.
Botic finished off a fine team move in the 13th minute to break the deadlock at the Estadio Bezerrao.
Seven minutes later, Olawale – who was making his first appearance in the competition – made a brilliant turn from just outside the penalty area to draw his side level.
After the equaliser, Nigeria went on to create more scoring chances but failed to convert any of them.
In the 53rd minute, Caleb Watts made a promising run into Nigeria’s area and was brought down by Usman Ibrahim in the 18-yard box, which left the referee with no choice but to point at the penalty spot.
Botic stepped forward to take the penalty and he made no mistake in sending goalkeeper Joseph Oluwabusola the wrong way for his second effort of the night.
In an attempt to stage a comeback, Olawale was replaced by Divine Nwachukwu in the 83rd minute but the Golden Eaglets lacked the goalscoring edge and bowed to the Joeys at the end.
Manu Garba’s side paid dearly for their missed chances in the game, making 35 attempts at goal and converting just one of their 12 shots on target.
Despite the loss, Nigeria finished as Group B leaders, level on six points with Ecuador but with a boost of a superior goal advantage.
They will be looking to avoid a repeat of Friday’s defeat when they play their Round of 16 match on November 5.