Nigeria took a giant step toward booking their place in the knockout stages of the FIFA U-17 World Cup with a 1-0 win over Honduras at the National Stadium in Abuja. The Central Americans tried to build a defensive wall against the hosts and holders from the outset, but Abdul Ajagun found a way through early in the second half to seal a slim 1-0 win for the Golden Eaglets.
The second match from the capital started slowly, but the hosts managed to carve out the first chance of note after 16 minutes. Taking advantage of a bit of a mix-up in the Honduran rearguard, Edafe Egbedi rifled a shot in from 12 yards that brought the best out of goalkeeper Harold Fonseca.
The Golden Eaglets continued to press, however, and seemed to be camped out in the Central Americans' penalty area. On 28 minutes, Stanley Okoro steered his shot wide after being sent in clear on goal. Then, after a flurry of fruitless Nigerian attacks, Kenneth Omeruo had a golden chance to poke home at the back post, but his awkward header went harmlessly wide as the whistle went for the break with hosts having all of the possession but nothing to show for it on the scoreboard.
The visitors came out from the change room with renewed spirit, committing more men into attack than had been the case in a tentative opening period. On 50 minutes, qualifying top scorer and captain Antony Lozano tried his luck from 20 yards, forcing Dami Paul into a fine save. The hosts were back in control soon after, though, and seconds after Okoro missed a sitter from six yards, Abdul Ajagun lofted a delicate curler into the top corner from the edge of the box to make it 1-0 to the hosts in the 55th minute. The young Catrachos did their all to grind their way level, but in the end the Nigerians were able to hold onto their slender lead.
Nigeria next face already qualified Argentina on 30 October in Bauchi while Honduras, with no points from their two consecutive 1-0 losses, meet Germany in Abuja that same day.