The Golden Eaglets, Nigeria’s Under 17 team at the ongoing FIFA U-17 football completion in UAE, came from two goals down to play 3-3 with the Sweden U-17 football team in their second group F match played Tuesday evening.
A good header from substitute Taiwo Awoniyi ensured Nigeria secured a point from an excitement filled match.
Nigeria was trailing by two goals until the 22nd minute of the match when Success Isaac scored a powerful volley that should be in contention for one of the best goals of the competition.
Before then, however, the Swedes scored their first goal in the 11th minute of the match when Nigeria’s goalkeeper rushed out of goal prematurely, allowing Valmir Berisha to slot the goal into an empty net. Eight minutes after Sweden’s first goal, the same payer, Berisha, made it two nil for Sweden as he found the net again in the 19th minute.
The first half ended 2-1 in favour of the Swedes.
Barely five minutes into the match, Musa Yahaya equalised for Nigeria with a shot that the Swedish goalie caught with little effort but went through his legs and crossed the line, just, before he could get his hands on it again.
The two teams were not only even on the score sheet they were even in every other thing, man-to-man markings, skills, and ball control.
The Swedes broke the deadlock when Mirza Halvadzic scored a superb goal from a fine crossing in the 65th minute of the match.
Had it not been for a simple FIFA change of rules the match could have ended 3-2 in Sweden’s favour because Taiwo Awoniyi’s goal came in 81st minute.
When the competition started 28 years ago matches played in the Under-17 category lasted for only 80 minutes each instead of the usual 90 minutes that all football matches are played for these days.
Nigeria plays Iraq in the last group stage match on Friday.