The Super Sand Eagles were defeated in their first Group B game against Italy at the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup on Friday morning.
The match which was played at the National Beach Soccer Arena, Nassau, Bahamas, ended 12-6 in favour of the Italians.
A hattrick from Abu Azeez and goals each from Victor Tale, Godspower Igudia and Emeka Ogbonna made it six for Nigeria while Italy’s Gabriele Gori alone recorded six goals to his name.
The Nigerian beach soccer team, led by Adamu Adamu, started well and went two goals up in the first period before the Italians rallied back to ensure the first period ended in 2-2 draw.
Ognonna Okemiri was booked in the first minute of the second period for a foul, but the resultant penalty kick was saved by Nigeria’s goalkeeper Dami Paul who also made two more brilliant saves but unfortunately conceded the third goal.
There was injury scare for Nigeria in the seventh minute of the second period as captain isiaka Olawale went down on the sands clutching his leg but managed to see the match out.
Nigeria will play Mexico on Saturday hoping for a win, to keep them in the competition; while Italy will face Iran in the second round of Group B matches.
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