Nigeria have been knocked out of the Under-20 World Cup by Germany, who were 1-0 victors in their Round of 16 clash.
Germany moved through to the quarterfinals of the Fifa Under-20 World Cup after a hard-fought 1-0 round of 16 victory over Nigeria on Thursday night.
The Flying Eagles could not be faulted for effort but were unable to create any clear chances in Christchurch.
Germany are now expected to clash with Mali on Sunday afternoon in the quarter-finals in Christchurch, same day when Senegal will play Uzbekistan in Wellington.
A 19th minute strike from German midfielder Levin Oeztunali proved the difference in front of 5288 fans at AMI Stadium.
Germany are one of the favourites to claim the title but had to work hard to overcome a plucky Nigerian side who defended stoutly throughout the game.
Nigeria looked far more lively on attack in the second half but were unable to translate their promising runs into clear-cut chances.
The Germans have only conceded two goals during the tournament and were again composed at the back, keeping Nigeria’s talented attackers at bay.
Nigerian coach Manu Garba stuck with the players who had done the job for him in group play. Several players, who are in the academies of some of Europe’s top clubs, were on the bench, barely having been used in the pool stage.
It was a special victory for German captain Kevin Akpoguma, who worked tirelessly. Akpoguma has Nigerian ancestry through his father Kelvin, who was in the crowd and cheering for both nations.