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FIFA U-17 World Cup: Golden Eaglets Eliminated in Dutch Style

Forward Sontje Hansen netted a hat-trick to propel the Netherlands past Nigeria 3-1 and into the quarter-finals at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Brazil 2019™. The Ajax product produced two goals in the opening 15 minutes to put his side in front, then placed the match out of reach for the Nigerians with his penalty goal in the 80th minute. The result means the Dutch will match up with either Paraguay or Argentina in their quarter-final, while the Golden Eaglets - five-time winners of this tournament - are heading home.
Fresh off a 4-0 win over USA that clinched their place in the knockout phase, Hansen and the Oranje  picked up where they left off. Jayden Braaf cut the Nigeria central defence apart with a pass to Hansen in the fourth minute and the No7 took a touch, then beat goalkeeper Daniel Jinadu to open the scoring. Eleven minutes later Hansen was opportunistic, blocking Oluwatimilehin Adeniyi's half-clearance and finishing clinically from 12 yards. His penalty goal made him the second player to score a hat-trick at Brazil 2019, joining Nigeria's own Ibrahim Said. Hansen now also leads the race for the adidas Golden Boot with five goals in the competition.

Behind early, the Golden Eaglets found themselves in a position all too familiar at Brazil 2019. This time Olakunle Olusegun was the one to pull them back. He turned Dutch defender Devyne Rensch with a slick cutback, then fired a low, burning shot from the corner of the penalty area that seared past goalkeeper Calvin Raatsie. But that was the only time the African side beat Raatsie, who recovered from a first-half collision to bravely intercept multiple through balls before Nigerian players could latch on. The Golden Eaglets will have to wait at least another two years before getting another shot at their sixth U-17 crown.

By Olamide Oyetunji

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