Ibrahim Said was the star of the show as Nigeria defeated Ecuador 3-2 Tuesday night in their second Group B match of the 2019 FIFA U-17 World Cup to book a place in the Round of 16.
Nigeria went ahead in the 5th minute through Ibrahim Sai’d who was gifted the ball after Olalekan Olusegun put Ecuador’s goalkeeper Joan Lopez under pressure which forced him to a sloppy clearance that saw the ball fell kindly to the feet of the scorer.
Olusegun was keen to double Nigeria’s goals three minutes later when he embarked on a mazy run but saw the ball cleared from danger eventually.
However the South Americans got their equaliser when Adrian Mejia’s shot which hit the foot of the post deflected off the back of Daniel Jinadu in Nigeria’s goal in the 10th minute.
The West Ham United goalkeeper was credited with scoring an own goal rather being the effort of the Ecuadorian forward.
Top scorer for Nigeria at the U-17 African Nations Cup Wisdom Ubani who proved to be ineffective was replaced in the 30th minute by Akinkunmi Amoo.
Nigeria defender Ferdinand Ikenna almost put his team in trouble with a poor headed clearance but Adrian Mejia could not pounce and punish that sloppiness.
Ecuador’s endeavour then paid off in the 56th minute when Charles Etim was deemed by Qatar referee Khamis All Marri to have fouled John Mercano. The resultant penalty was converted by Johan Mina.
Akinkunmi Amoo waltzed his way towards the 18 yard box of Ecuador but his right footed low shot at the edge of the vox went agonisingly wide off target.
Olusegun missed a chance soon afterwards while keeper Jinadu tipped the ball away brilliantly for a corner.
But it was Said who grabbed the much sought after second goal and his brace of the game with a curling shot that nestled at the top right corner five minutes to full time.
Ibrahim Said rifled home his third goal of the night with a minute to play after an exchange of wonderful passes.
In added time Amoo released Hamzat Ojrdiran but his touch let him down while Olusegun’s reversed efoort went wide.