Facing the defending champions was always going to be a tough task for the Joeys and it proved much too much on Wednesday night in Chile. Australia fell to Nigeria 6-0 in their round of 16 match up, which eliminates Australia from the tournament.
Likely Golden Boot, and potential Golden Ball winner, Victor Osimhen was brutal as he put Australia to the sword, scoring a hat-trick. The match saw no sign of looking anywhere near that lopsided result in the early stages as it was tight.
The match was tight and end-to-end with both teams having plenty of chances in the early stages but neither side could convert. Nigeria could have hit the lead early as Fushno Bamgboye cut inside from the left and shot powerfully, only to be denied by the near post.
Nigeria finally broke through in the 22nd minute as Osimhen was able to make a run on a long ball down the run. He beat his marker to the ball and was then able to send in a shot across Duro Dragicevic’s goal and in to the back of the net to make it 1-0.
Australia nearly had a perfect response as they started to go for it and they had a golden opportunity when Joe Caletti had space. Caletti’s chip fell to Lucas Derrick at the top of the box, allowing him to shoot, his effort was well saved by Akpan Udoh, falling to Cameron Joice who could only send the rebound wide.
That would cost Australia dearly as a stunning Nigerian counter simply tore Australia apart and the Joeys gave away a penalty at the edge of the box. That allowed Kelechi Nwakali who stepped up putting it in low to the right and doubling the lead in the 25th minute.
Nigeria was continuing to dominate the match for the remainder of the half, but Australia held out well. That kept it 2-0 at half-time with the Joeys no doubt thinking that they were still in the match, and they came out from the break determined to get the lead.
The Joeys went on the attack throughout the second half, as they were looking to attack and get a goal in on Nigeria. They were having plenty of possession but the Nigeria defence was determined to not concede, keeping hold of their 2-0 lead.
As the time wore on the Joeys were forced to go for it, throwing men forward and that left space at the back for the counter. In the 73rd minute a counter would all but end the match as a deep cross sprung Osimhen who buried it to make it three.
From there Nigeria were just ruthless showing why they are the defending champions as they tore Australia apart in the final 11 minutes. Osimhen completed his hat-trick in the 79th minute before Edidong Essien and Samuel Chukwueze made it six in the 86th and 88th minutes completing the rout.