Nigeria’s Flying Eagles on Thursday in New Plymouth got their FIFA U-20 World Cup campaign in New Zealand back on a good footing with a 4-0 defeat of North Korea. It however took a spirited second-half display after a tight first-half which saw both sides fighting for their life in the competition. But the Korean side which were stoic in the first half went to pieces after the break as a quick-fire brace from Saviour Godwin undid all that good work. A fine final two goals then secured all three points for Nigeria and put them back in the mix for qualification from Group E. The Flying Eagles started well and almost put their disappointing second half against Brazil behind them inside the opening two minutes. Team captain Musa Muhammed looked to lead by example as he struck a thunderbolt of a shot off the inside of the post from 25 yards. From there, though, North Korea improved for a spell, and they contained the threat of Nigeria and had occasional forays forward, but were ultimately blunt in attack. The Flying Eagles however looked more menacing as the half wore on. Taiwo Awoniyi and Bernand Bulbwa threatened, before a Muhammed free-kick and Awoniyi follow-up brought out a superb double save from Jong Hun in a half in which he was busy. All this however changed in the second half, as the North Korean goalkeeper spoiled what had been an impressive display. His poor judgment of coming out to challenge Saviour Godwin for a Bulbwa cross saw the Asian side lose their foothold, as Godwin scored. It only took the same player just three minutes to double his tally, after a lucky ricochet allowed Awoniyi to skillfully progress up the field. He only needed to play in the FC Sports forward, who coolly slotted through the legs of defender and goalkeeper. The third goal was not long in coming, as a corner kick found its way out to Kingsley Sokari. His shot from the edge of the area screamed into the top left corner. The final goal followed a slick team move, with Awoniyi and substitute Success Isaac exchanging passes to slice through the Korean defence. Isaac then slammed home from a tight angle to revive the African champions’ hopes of qualification for the last 16. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Nigeria will take on Hungary on Sunday in their final Group E match.


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