Awoniyi’s Hat-Trick Sinks Hoffenheim’s Youths

Taiwo Awoniyi scored a second-half hat-trick as the Flying Eagles dumped Hoffenheim U23 team 5-2 in a test match on Tuesday.

The African champions created the more chances and could even have won by a wider margin but for some wastefulness in front of goal.

Kingsley Sokari stamped his authority in midfield, skipper Musa Muhammed and Mustapha Abdullahi powered down the flanks from their fullback positions and the guile and power of Chidera Ezeh and Godwin Saviour troubled the opponents’ defence early on.

Hoffenheim, who feature n the German fifth league, took the game to the Nigeria U20s from the blast of the whistle.

They forced goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo to make a desperate save in the sixth minute from a swift counter after Ezeh failed to make hay from a one-on-one situation.

Saviour and skipper Muhammed also came close as the Flying Eagles came into the game.

Their endeavour was deservedly rewarded in the 24th minute when Saviour opened scoring off a rebound by the lively Bernard Bulbwa.

However, Hoffenheim drew level three minutes later courtesy of a well-taken free kick at the edge of the box by Abruscia Alessandro.

The game really opened up after the interval when Ezeh put the Junior Eagles ahead for the second time when he fired home a loose ball in the 45th minute.

Ten minutes later, Bulbwa missed a sitter, before Awoniyi replaced Ezeh on the hour.

But it was Hoffenheim who restored parity in the 63rd minute when Azaouagh Ahmed slotted home after a fine attack.

Thereafter it was the late Awoniyi show.

He scored his first goal in the 72nd minute when he was released by the adventurous Wilfred Ndidi and two minutes later he was denied by the giant goalkeeper Cymer Ricco from point-blank range.

He then missed a sitter in the 80th minute before he made up for these misses with clinically finished goals in the 88th and 90th minutes.

Flying Eagles vs Hoffenheim
Joshua Enaholo – Musa Muhammed (Skipper), Mustapha Abdullahi, Ifeanyi Ifeanyi, Ifeanyi Matthew, Zaharadeen Bello, Bashiru Monsoru (Wilfred Ndidi 18), Bernard Bulbwa (Musa Yahaya 75), Kingsley Sokari (Akinjide Idowu 90), Chidera Ezeh (Taiwo Awoniyi 60), Godwin Saviour
Unused subs: Dele Alampasu, Chidiebere Nwakali, Abdullahi Alfa, Christian Pyagbara, Samuel Okon, Leke Ojo