Nigeria have progressed to the final 16 of the Fifa under-20 World Cup after a surprisingly comfortable 2-0 win over Hungary.
Both sides had followed similar paths to the final match in Group E, losing narrowly to Brazil and thrashing North Korea but Sunday night’s game at Stadium Taranaki was largely one-sided.
Nigeria’s pace and ability to move the ball into better attacking areas was evident throughout the first half as they took a deserved 1-0 lead into the break.
While they had to absorb some early pressure, Nigeria managed to keep the ball for longer periods.
Their domination was borne out by the halftime statistics as they managed 10 shots at goal, six more than Hungary who opted to only leave Bence Mervo up as their attacking threat.
In fact, Nigeria had already had eight shots at goal before Hungary managed their first, even then it was timid and never troubled the keeper.
Nigeria took the lead in the 33rd minute after a lightning run down the right side by Saviour Godwin who delivered a pin point cross for striker Taiwo Awaoniyi who gave Hungary keeper Gyorgy Szekely no chance.
The goal did nothing to change the Hungary formation, however, as they continued to heap numbers into midfield without pushing forward with conviction.
Their biggest problem was their inability to maintain possession for long periods. They also looked susceptible to any counter attack.
Hungary coach Bernd Storck introduced Zsolt Kalmar in the second half, surprisingly for Mervo.
There was a bright moment early in the second half when Mario Nemeth hit the post from distance but their chances continued to be limited.
Things turned even darker in the 54th minute when Awoniyi scored his second following a defensive mix-up when two Hungary players went for the ball in the air from a long throw from keeper Joshua Enaholo.
Awoniyi was quick to latch on to the mistake as he rounded the keeper and sent it and Hungary home.
He could have had a hat-trick shortly after but sent his shot wide.