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Nigeria beat Germany to reach final

Nigeria reached the final on Thursday, defeating Germany 3-1 in the South Korean city of Suwon.

sports Updated: Sep 07, 2007 03:23 IST

Nigeria reached the final of the FIFA Under-17 World Cup Thursday, defeating Germany 3-1 in the South Korean city of Suwon.

The African regional champions will face Spain in Sunday's final in the capital, Seoul.

In an entertaining first half, Nigeria struck first, with Macauley Chrisantus scoring his tournament-leading seventh goal in the 10th minute.

German goalkeeper Rene Vollath could not hold on to a shot by Yakubu Alfa and Chrisantus was all alone in front of goal to bang home the loose ball.

Eight minutes later, Alfa scored following another mistake by Vollath, with what appeared to be a harmless left-foot kick.

The ball went straight to the German keeper from outside the penalty box but it spun off his hands and into the net to give the Nigerians a two-goal cushion.

German skipper Tony Kroos pulled a goal back in the 33rd minute, dribbling past defender Kingsley Udoh and firing past Oladele Ajiboye.

Germany nearly equalised in the 38th minute, when Richard Sukuta-Pasu's diving header hit a post. A minute later, Chrisantus was one-on-one with Vollath but his shot rolled wide of the right post.

There were few scoring chances for either side in the second half, as Nigeria sat back to protect their lead. In the 62nd minute, German Kevin Wolze received a fine pass from Kroos but could not beat Ajiboye.

The last goal of the game followed a bizarre turn of events. Just moments before the final whistle, Chrisantus had a goal disallowed for offside.

Vollath picked the ball out of the net and kicked it to a defender. But the ball was carelessly passed back towards Vollath, and Kabiru Akinsola intercepted it and lobbed it over the hapless keeper.

Nigeria will be chasing their third win in this tournament on Sunday at the Seoul World Cup Stadium. Germany will face Ghana in the third-place playoff match, also in Seoul.

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