African champions Nigeria have been eliminated from the FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand after being outclassed by European champions Germany in their Round of 16 match in Christchurch on Thursday.
 
A first half goal by Levin Oztunali decided the contest in favour of the dominant Europeans.
 
Flying Eagles coach Manu Garba kept faith with his starting line-up from games against Korea DPR and Hungary, leaving top stars like Kelechi Iheanacho, Isaac Success, Moses Simon on the bench.
 
The Germans will now take on another African side Mali in the quarter-finals.

Germany boss Frank Wormuth, says he expects Mali to "play in quite a similar way to what we saw today from Nigeria" when both clash in the quarter-finals.
 
The German gaffer praised the Nigerian team for putting up a strong challenge, but hailed his team for unlocking the African champions.
 
"I like Nigeria and they are very good technically, which makes them extremely difficult to play against," Wormuth said after the game.

"We were able to keep the ball under pressure and that was our only chance to break through their defence."
 
He added: "In the end, I give congratulations to my team for finding the answer to the problems Nigeria posed us. They deserved the win and I am very impressed with them. I am especially proud of my team's defence today."

The wrap

Thursday's round-of-16 matches began with another upset when Uzbekistan beat Austria 2-0, two-time champions Portugal ousted New Zealand 2-1 and five-time champions Brazil overcame Uruguay 5-4 on penalties.

The tournament had already seen South American champions Argentina and CONCACAF champions Mexico fail to progress beyond the group stage.

In the quarterfinals, Brazil will play Portugal, Mali face Germany, United States take on Serbia and Uzbekistan will play Senegal.

Follow Gary on Twitter: @garyalsmith

Tags: