Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets reached the quarter-finals of the ongoing FIFA Under-17 World Cup by defeating Team Melli Nojavanan of Iran 4-1 at the Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain on Tuesday.
Goals from Okon Dennis, Kelechi Iheanacho, Musa Muhamed and Musa Yahaya helped the coach Manu Garba-led team end Iran’s journey in the round of 16.
The Persians got their only goal late in the second-half through Ali Gholizadeh.
The Eaglets were 3-0 up at the interval and despite losing Iheanacho midway through the first-half kept their composure to finish off the encounter on a high.
Yahaya set up Okon in the 23rd minute and the defender coolly fired home the opener from the left side of goal.
Two minutes later Taiwo Awoniyi prodded a pass to Iheanacho from a quick counter and the Eaglets forward scored to increase his goal tally to five.
Nigeria scored their third goal three minutes to the break when skipper Mohammed capitalised on a defensive blunder to score his second goal of the tournament.
The Iranians returned after the interval prepared to make matters difficult for Nigeria but the three-time champions were wary of their opponents’ threat.
Despite a noticeable loss of concentration in the Nigerian half, a solo run by Yahaya resulted to a powerful effort some 25 yards from goal which was deflected into the Iranian’s net by their defender in the 75th minute.
Coach Ali Doustimehr’s men finally got a consolatory goal six minutes from full-time through Gholizadeh.
Nigeria will clash with Uruguay, who saw off Slovakia 4-2, in the quarter-finals.