Super Sand Eagles bowed out of the ongoing FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017 in the early hours of Tuesday after losing 2-1 on penalties to Iran.
Regulation and extra time scores deadlocked at 4-4 before the gallant Sand Eagles capitulated in the shootout.
In what was an intriguing back-and-forth battle between two sides looking to make the last eight, Iranâ€™s Mohammad Ahmadzadeh and Mohammad Mokhtari scored two of their four goals.
Iran showed why they are Asian champions and also ranked number five in beach soccer in the world as Ali Nazem and Amir Akbari scored their spot kicks to set up a quarter-final clash with Switzerland on May 4 while Bartholomew Ibenegbu was the only Nigerian who converted his penalty with Victor Tale and Ogodo missing theirs. Nigeria finished third in Group B behind Italy and Iran.
To their credit, the Sand Eagles gave an excellent account of themselves, with Victor Tale, Emmanuel Ohwoferia, Godspower Igudia, and Bartholomew Ibenegbu getting on the scorers sheet.
Nigeriaâ€™s Head Coach, Audu Adamu, opted to stick with same five players who started in the previous game against Mexico in which they needed a last gasp Abu Azeez to win 5-4.
Three times Iran took the lead against Nigeria, and three times the Sand Eagles came back before moving in front themselves towards the end of the third period.
The Asian side drew on all their experience to level the match and then win the shootout to reach the last eight for the third time running.
Penalties were also needed on Tuesday to decide the other important match as Switzerland defeated Senegal from the spot to advance to the last eight.