U-17 WORLD CUP: IBRAHIM SAID HAT-TRICK SNATCHES WIN OVER ECUADOR

Ibrahim Said struck twice in the final 10 minutes, claiming a hat-trick and inspiring a come-from-behind 3-2 victory for Nigeria over Ecuador at the FIFA U-17 World Cup.

The Golden Eaglets, who had staged a late comeback in the opening Group B match against Hungary, again required heroics late on after their South American opponents went ahead from the spot just before the hour mark.

It was Nigeria who opened the scoring on the night in the fifth minute, as Said capitalized on an error by Ecuador goalkeeper Joan Lopez, whose weak clearance fell to him outside the area.

The lead, however, was a short-lived one. Five minutes later, Adrian Mejia’s well-struck shot hit the upright, before deflecting in off the back of Nigeria goalkeeper Daniel Jinadu.

That state of parity remained through to the second half, but Ecuador were awarded a penalty following a review by the Video Assistant Referee for a tackle by defender Charles Etim. Striker Johan Mina stepped up and sent Jinadu the wrong way to give his side the lead for the first time in the contest.

That lead would last for close to half an hour, before Said got his second of the game in the 85th. The forward had plenty still to do when he received the ball on the edge of the area, but he opened up his body and curled a beauty past the despairing dive of Lopez to level the match.

In the penultimate minute of regulation time, the comeback was completed, as first-half substitute Akinkumin Amoo played in Said to crash home the winner from inside the penalty area.

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