Germany U-20 3-2 Nigeria U-20: European Champions Battle To Gritty Victory

World Cup U20 Ten-man Germany are through to the quarter-finals of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup after a last-gasp victory in Suez.

Germany have qualified for the quarter-final of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup after they defeated Nigeria 3-2 at the Hosni Mubarak Stadium on Wednesday night.

Germany will now clash with Brazil, who defeated South American rivals Uruguay in their own round of 16 match earlier Wednesday.

Full-back Bjorn Kopplin was the hero for the Germans as he scored twice, with the match winner coming in stoppage time when he ran almost half way down the pitch following a mistake by Lukman Haruna before slotting the ball home.

Daniel Uchechi put Nigeria ahead on 51 minutes with a header off a cross by King Osanga, but almost immediately the Germans drew level through Kopplin.

Nigeria regained their lead in the 68th minute following a strong run by Nurudeen Orelesi, which found Rabiu Ibrahim to fire home from close range.

However, six minutes later Germany restored parity when substitute Mario Vrancic stabbed home after yet another superb delivery by Kopplin from the left wing.

After a dour first half, the first two goals after the interval appeared to open up the game as Nigeria goalkeeper Uche Okafor had to deny Richard Sukutu-Pasu twice within two minutes. First, he came out to clear with Sukutu headed for goal, and almost within a twinkle of an eye, the Kaduna United goalkeeper had to save off the feet of the big striker.

Even though European champions Germany were denied the use of as many as 26 players by their various German clubs for this tournament, they were the favourites against a Nigerian team who barely scraped through to the round of 16 by virtue of having finished as one of four best third-placed teams.

Nigeria started out with an attacking team with four forwards – Stanley Ohawuchi, Odion Ighalo, Osanga and Uchechi – with Ibrahim and Lukman Haruna supporting them from midfield.

The Flying Eagles took the game to their German counterparts, but against the run of play, Bayer Leverkusen striker Richard Sukutu-Pasu came close to opening up the scoring as early as the fourth minute when he almost punished  a moment of indecision in the heart of the Nigerian defence.

Sukutu-Pasu’s other chance came in the dying minutes when his near post header was gathered by goalkeeper Uche Okafor.

Before then, Okafor did well to come off his line to thwart a goal-bound Tobias Kempe, who had sprung the Nigerian offside trap.

Nigeria’s chances in the first half fell to skipper Ighalo. First, on 11 minutes, he whipped a shot from the top of the box, which narrowly missed the target. In the 33rd minute, he sliced his shot from inside the box wide.

The Flying Eagles must rue some missed chances in their best performance at the tournament, especially late in the second period particularly Uchechi, who clipped his shot over the bar from inside the box.


~ by footballdirecta on October 8, 2009.

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