Having secured progress to the next stage, the Golden Eaglets of Nigeria failed to keep a 100% record in the group stage of the 2019 FIFA U17 World Cup after they fell to a 2-1 loss to Australia in their last Group B game.
Despite creating more chances, the Golden Eaglets failed to convert and conceded a second penalty which ensured they lost the game.
Despite a few changes to their starting XI, it was the Golden Eaglets that started the game the better side, attacking the Australians with quick passing in the final third although they lacked the precision to finish off their moves.
The Australians themselves were getting enough space on the counter-attack to attack and took the lead against the run of play in the 13th minute.
It came through a quick counter-attack which saw Noah Botic finish off with a simple tap in.
The Golden Eaglets continued to create chances while the Joeys continued to find openings in the Nigerian defence.
In the 21st minute, Nigeria got an equaliser through Peter Olawale on his tournament debut.
Olawale got a ball at the edge of the Australians’ penalty area and curled the ball with his left foot past goalkeeper Adam Pavlesic for Nigeria’s equaliser.
The Golden Eaglets had the best chances of the first half but was thwarted by the fantastic Pavlesic.
Botic’s penalty turned out to be the winner for the Joeys to ensure that they secure qualification to the round-of-16 as one of the best third-placed teams and also give them their first win against Nigeria in seven attempts in the U-17 world finals.
Despite the loss, Nigeria still finished first in Group B with a better goal difference than Ecuador who also finished with six points.
Ecuador secured qualification with a 3-2 win over Hungary in the other Group B game.
The second half was just like the first but the Golden Eaglets were to pay for their profligacy in front of goal.
In the 51st minute, Australia took the lead again through Botic who converted a penalty.