A rare defensive blunder saw the Flying Eagles fall to the superior fire power of their South American opponents as Brazil beat Nigeria 4-2 on Monday in a thrilling start to its FIFA Under-20 World Cup campaign.
In easily the best game of the Under-20 World Cup so far, Brazil has prevailed 4-2 over Nigeria in New Plymouth. The six goal classic, before a vocal crowd at Taranaki Stadium, was a spectacular advertisement for the tournament.
After the teams were locked 2-2 at halftime, replacement Brazil midfielder Boschilia turned the game in the second half. He scored a long range strike on the hour to take them ahead, then made their fourth goal to seal the game in the 82nd minute.
However Nigerian goal keeper Joshua Enaholo won’t look back on the match with pride; he made an awful error to concede Brazil’s fourth goal and probably could have done more to stop their third.
Brazil deserved their win but it’s a tough result for Nigeria. They had looked the better team for most of the first half and at one point were creating chances at will, with their outrageous pace going forward. However, the Flying Eagles seemed to tired in the second half, as the men in the famed yellow shirts tightened their defence.
Overall the match was an absolute beauty. It had everything you might expect from a clash between the South American giants and probably the best African team at this level.
There was some spectacular skills – audacious flicks, tricks and turns – and free flowing, pacy attack from both teams. There were also some sumptuous goals, and many other near misses.
Midfielder Gabriel opened the scoring in the fourth minute for Brazil before the aptly named Success Issac equalised six minutes later. His goal heralded a period of Nigerian dominance capped off by a brilliant strike from Muha Yahaya (28th minute) after a lightning counter attack launched by goal keeper Enaholo.
The lead changed hands twice during the first half, and the teams went to halftime locked at 2-2 before Judivan clinched the match with his second goal eight minutes from fulltime thanks to a rare Nigerian defensive blunder.
Brazil’s win gave the five-time champion an early advantage in Group E ahead of the match later Monday between Hungary and North Korea.
Brazil 4 (Gabriel 4, Judivan 34, Boschilia 59, Judivan 82)
Nigeria 2 (S Isaac 10, M. Yahaya 28)