Nigeria beat Colombia 33 to 31 goals to finish seventh at her debut IHF Emerging Nations Championship in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Nigeria led Colombia by six goals (20-14) in the first half with the combination of Philip Kalu, Obinna Anih and Gbenga cole tormenting the backline of the South American team.
The second half was less impressive with Colombia pulling off a comeback from a deficit as large as eight goals in the first half for an exciting finish to the match. With three minutes to play, Nigeria had the edge at 31:28 but there was still time for Colombia to close the gap.
The match was decided with a long-distance goal from Usman Sulaiman, who pulled Nigeria in front by four goals in the 59th minute, creating a clear enough distance for the African side to feel secure before the buzzer. Colombia added two more goals after that, but it was too late to equalise.
Nigeria’s stand-out individuals were Maccabi Holon of Israel player, Phillip Igwe Kalu; who scored 10 goals and goalkeeper Oladunjoye Adamolugbe, who made eight saves at 61%.
Lagos Seasiders’, Mathew Ibitoye got five goals for Nigeria, Kawkab Athletic Club Marrakech player, Obinna Anih, Usman Sulaiman, Gbenga Cole, Abdullahi Mohammed scored three goals each while Gbenga Rotibi and Emeka Emmanuel got two goals each. Joseph Gbawuan and Ibrahim Owolabi scored one goals each
Nigeria won two games, drew one and lost four matches at the 3rd edition of the championships.
Georgia finished their home IHF Emerging Nations Championship with clean sweep of only wins on their path to the trophy, following a commanding victory in the final versus Cuba 31 to 21 goals on Sunday night in Tbilisi Sports Palace.
It is Georgia’s first Emerging Nations title after Faroe Islands won in 2015 and 2017.
4th- Great Britain
5th– United STates