Nigeria’s Super Sand Eagles have crashed out of the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup after they fell to a 5-6 defeat at the hands of Group D opponents Oman at the Los Pynandi Stadium, Asuncion, on Sunday.
Having lost their opener by a record 10-1 scoreline to Portugal two days ago, Nigeria needed a win against Oman to keep their chances of progressing to the knockout stage alive.
Oman also needed a win to avoid an early ouster after an 8-2 loss to reigning champions Brazil in their first game and they were first off the marks going two goals up through Eid Al Farsi’s left-footed, curling rocket into the far corner from distance and Jalal Al Sinani’s impressive scissor kick.
Emeka Ogbonna responded to the early setback by scoring a brace and bringing the Super Sand Eagles level early in the second period.
However, Oman stepped up the heat with further goals from Mushel Al Araimi, Al Farsi and Sami Al Bulushi putting them 5-2 up at the end of the second period.
The Super Sand Eagles clawed back to within one goal of the Asians after Ogbonna completed his hat-trick and Adams Taiwo scored with a low drive into the bottom corner.
But Oman captain Khalid Al Oraimi restored their two-goal cushion with a brilliant strike and although Godspower Igudia finished off a well-worked team move to cut the deficit, it wasn’t enough as Oman held on to claim their first win and consign Nigeria to bottom of Group D and early ouster from the tournament.
In the other game in the pool, reigning champions Brazil moved top of Group D after they edged Portugal 9-7 to seal their place in the quarter-finals with a game to spare in group-stage play.
Elsewhere, African champions Senegal boosted their chances of a quarterfinal berth with an excellent 7-2 victory over debutants Belarus courtesy of a masterclass by Mamour Diagne, who scored an incredible four goals in the final period.
Senegal’s win throws up an intriguing scenario in Group C with the West Africans delicately poised at the top with three points – the same number of points as the three other teams in the pool.
The United Arab Emirates beat Russia 4-1 in the other game in the pool.
Senegal can confirm progress to the quarterfinals with victory against the UAE on Tuesday, 26 November while Russia tackle Belarus for the other ticket.
Nigeria next play Brazil on Tuesday, 26 November before heading back home while Oman and Portugal will tussle for the remaining quarterfinal berth in the other game.