Eleven goals from Ebinatei Ekpodio could not stop Nigeria from suffering her second consecutive defeat in the hands of host, North Macedonia 37-34 at the ongoing IHF World Youth Championship.
The Nigeria team started on a bright note with talisman Ebinatei Ekpodio scoring six goals in the first half, but could not sustain the momentum as host; North Macedonia led the first half by two goals (18-16).
Nigeria equalised multiple times in the second period. With 15 minutes on the clock, the score was level at 25-25 and that proved to be the last chance for Nigeria. Led by six goals from Kosteski in the last quarter, the hosts tightened their hold on the match.
After Faruk Yusuf pulled Nigeria within one at 30:31 in the 54th minute, the hosts scored three unanswered goals that decided the outcome.
Nigeria broke a four-minute scoring drought in the 58th minute, but at that point, North Macedonia had created a four-goal distance that was too much for the African team to overcome so late in the game.
When Serafimov added his ninth goal inside the last two minutes and put the score at 36:32, the two points were decided.
Nigeria has to beat Denmark on Friday by 4:30pm to stand a chance of qualifying to the next round of the IHF World Youth championships.