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IHF Men’s Junior: Nigeria Defeat Australia To Earn First Point

Nigeria earned their first victory at the 2019 IHF Men’s Junior World Championship in round four, beginning Saturday’s programme in Vigo with their 14-goal win over Australia. Australia kept well within reach until the last five minutes of the first half, before Nigeria claimed the upper hand and powered to a clear win at the buzzer.

IHF Men's Junior

The first 25 minutes of the match were equal, with the score at 11:11 in the 23rd minute before Nigeria took the lead. From that stage, the African team did not look back and continued to increase their advantage to claim what was their first win at Spain 2019 – in what is their first Junior World Championship since 1985.

Early on, Australia goalkeeper Henrik Georges was in great form, saving at 43 we cent in the first 10 minutes, 5:5. His counterpart at the other end of the court, Nigeria’s Michael Agbaji Solomon, had an even more impressive game and was a decisive factor in the outcome. Solomon, who was also part of the Nigeria squad at the 3rd IHF Emerging Nations Championship, made 16 saves at 57 per cent.

Though Nigeria took a five-goal lead into the break, the momentum of the match had not swung completely in their direction yet. Georges had some more great saves through the closing of the half, but his teammates at the other end of the court had trouble converting their chances, and that was the cause for the difference at the break.

When the match resumed, Solomon really began to cause trouble for Australia. It took seven minutes for the Oceania side to score their first of the half, and during that time Nigeria pulled away more clearly, 20:11. Nigeria hit a 10-goal advantage in the 41st minute, 23:13, and though Australia continued fighting through to the end they could not decrease the score line again.

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As the last 10 minutes began, Nigeria were in front 28:16 and the two points were clearly decided in favour of the African team.

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