Nigeria are through to the last 16 after England and Uzbekistan went out of Egypt 2009 with a whimper, drawing 1-1 to consign both to elimination. The Flying Eagles' position as one of the best third-placed teams was confirmed after a forgettable match that only briefly flickered into life in the final stages.
Both sides went into this match knowing that they had to win handsomely and see results elsewhere go their way to stand a chance, but neither seemed to believe that the great escape could be pulled off. Chances were few and far between throughout, although England's Alex Tchuimeni-Nimely provided an early effort with a low shot that sneaked just wide of the far post after Uzbekistan had failed to clear their lines. The Europeans dominated the first half, but there was precious little quality and next to nothing for the fans to get excited about.
The tempo did pick up after the break, and Febien Brandy provided a statement of English intent four minutes after the restart with a low right-foot shot that skidded just wide of the left-hand post from 25 yards. The Three Lions continued to press but were caught by a classic sucker punch when a swift Uzbekistan counter-attack ended with substitutes Kenja Turaev and Ivan Nagaev combining for the latter to slip home a 77th-minute opener.
An already dire situation almost worsened for England four minutes later when Turaev came close to adding a second with a curling shot that forced Elliot Parish into a superb one-handed tip-over. However, Brian Eastick's side rallied and surged forward to level matters with two minutes remaining when Tchuimeni-Nimely bustled through and rifled the ball into the roof of the net.
It was England's first goal in 849 minutes of FIFA U-20 World Cup action and, remarkably, it was almost followed by a fairy tale winner three minutes into injury time. Parish charged forward for a late corner but when the ball dropped to him eight yards out with the goal gaping, the England keeper fluffed his lines and blazed his shot high and wide.