Nigeria battle back from behind
© Foto-net

Trailing to a solid Colombia side at Soccer Only Field in Gwangyang, Nigeria showed great inner strength to emerge 2-1 winners and take their place in the FIFA U-17 World Cup Korea 2007 quarter-finals.

In a first-half lacking in good openings, the Nigerians found themselves sending long balls over the top to try and destabilise the Colombian rearguard. The sturdy South Americans proved vigilant to the danger, however, and on the rare occasions when they were beaten, C afetero keeper Mauricio Acosta mopped up the danger. At the other end of the pitch, his team-mates seemed willing to wait for dead-ball situations to make their presence felt, but half-time came around without either side having been able to trouble the scoreboard.

A goal finally came on 62 minutes, though, following a moment of clumsiness from Azeez Balogun. The Nigerian defender made a mess of an interception and allowed the lurking Santiago Trellez to steal the ball away, dribble past Oladele Ajiboye and score into an empty net. Macauley Chrisantus tried to respond immediately for the Africans, only for his effort came back off a post. But they finally drew level with 12 minutes remaining, as substitute Sheriff Isa hit the target from point blank range just moments after coming on. And, five minutes later, Yakubu Alfa curled a left-footed shot high into the goal to hand the Golden Eaglets a courageous win.

They now go on to face another Latin American side in the shape of Argentina, who won through against Costa Rica.