Golden Eaglets fly past Brazil to reach U-17 World Cup semi-final

Nigeria’s Golden Eaglets edged closer towards winning a record fifth FIFA U-17 world crown with a 3-0 thrashing of the junior Selecao of Brazil at Vina Del Mar, Chile on Sunday.

The four-time world champions were in destructive mood when they squared-off against the South Americans for the first time ever at this level – tearing apart their opponents in just five first half minutes.

Tournament top scorer, Victor Osimhen, scored his eight in five games, with further strikes from Kingsley Michael and Udochukwu Anumudu ensuring the Eaglets cruised to their seventh semi-final.

Brazil, the second most successful nation at this level behind Nigeria, looked brighter in the opening stages, either finding Eaglets goalie Akpan Udoh in fine form or missing the target.

Carlos Amadeu’s lads were made to rue those missed opportunities when the lethal Osimhen extended his lead at the top of the goalscoring charts. John Lazarus crossed from the Nigerian right and the Nigerian No9 headed in, via a deflection off Eder Militao.

Moments later, the Eaglets doubled their lead, Osimhen instrumental once more. The forward hooked a bouncing ball back over his shoulder, with Michael following in. The ball bounced up off the turf and past Juliano.

The Brazilian No1 was deceived by another bounce just four minutes later, as Anumudu hit a left-footed drive from distance. The effort skipped off the turf, and past the stopper, who was visibly unhappy at not keeping the shot out.

Unlike the first, the second period saw few clear-cut opportunities, with Funsho Bamgboye and Evander going closest for either side but, in truth, it was a mere procession for the holders to take a step closer to retaining their title.

Nigeria who have scored 16 times thus far at the competition will now face either Mexico or Ecuador in the semi-final on Thursday.

While the Brazilians will have to tarry a little longer to add to their three titles – with their last success coming in 2003.