Nigeria have crashed out of the Fifa Under-20 World Cup courtesy of a lone goal defeat by Germany.
Levin Oeztunali’s 19th-minute shot few yards into the goal area separated both sides after 90 minutes as the Flying Eagles’ wait for a first Fifa Under-20 title tarried.
The African champions’ best opportunity fell to Taiwo Awoniyi in the second half but the forward dallied on an opportunity to take his tally to three after being set through on goal.
The European champions nevertheless imposed their physicality on the game, seeing most of the ball and closing out their opponents in the final third.
Germany will meet the only remaining African team Mali in the last eight.
They made a quick start to the round-of-16 tie in a cold (6C) Christchurch weather. Coach Frank Wormuth side had already swung in three corner kicks before Oeztunali’s opener, which came after Abdullahi Mustapha gave away the ball in front of his goal.
Marc Stendera worked the ball to the Werder Bremen forward, who kept his composure and let fly into the top right corner of goal through the flailing arms of goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo.
The Germans continued to dominate for the rest of the first half, as the Flying Eagles struggled to gather their acts together.
They did manage to press their opponent after the hour mark but made poor decisions in the final third while the Germans held on to narrow victory.