Nigeria were always in the driving seat in their round-of-16 clash against hopeful New Zealand in Abuja's National Stadium. Scoring three goals in the first half, the Golden Eaglets won the day 5-0 and fairly well cruised through their first knockout game to book passage to the quarter-finals, where they will lock horns with fast-moving Asian outfit Korea Republic in Calabar.
It didn't take the Nigerians long to open their account, Edafeh Egdebi scoring with a left-foot scorcher in the 14th minute after some clever work out wide by Terry Envoh. The Stunned New Zealanders - playing in their first-ever knockout game at a FIFA finals - were in over their heads, and ten minutes later they were 2-1 down when Stanley Okoro hopped on the end of a spilled ball by Kiwi goalkeeper Coey Turipa.
The Nigerians were having all of the possession and running circles around the Oceania lads. Egbedi grabbed his second goal of the game after 28 minutes when he collected a short pass in the area and curled another left-footed strike inside the far post. Five minutes later, things when from bad to worse for the Kiwis as Cameron Lindsay was given his marching orders for a nasty tackle.
The second half saw the Nigerians turn on the style, focussing more on impressing the home crowd with their deft flicks and cheeky tricks than on putting the ball in the Kiwis' net. Eventually, the hosts got their minds back on direct football. Sani Emmanuel grabbed two goals in the space of four minutes (74' and 79') to make it 5-0 and put the result well and truly beyond all doubt. The Nigerian supersub first dribbled around the goalkeeper to poke into an open goal, before firing home from eight yards out. Both of the strikes were assisted by the impressive Okoro.
The Nigerians now move on to the southern coastal city of Calabar where they will meet up with Korea Republic, who edged out Mexico on penalties in their round-of-16 meeting in Bauchi.