Nigeria on Thursday defeated Azerbaijan 35-17 to record their first win in two games and the biggest win so far at the ongoing International Handball Federation Emerging Nations Championship.
The result at the Culture and Sports Centre at Varna in Bulgaria meant Nigeria finished second in Group D behind Cuba.
Cuba have qualified for the semifinals with two wins, while Azerbaijan are in bottom place without a win.
The score set by the African side is the highest margin so far after 12 games played at the 2023 edition of the event.
It was an exciting start for Nigeria against Azerbaijan as they duly took advantage of every mistake made by the Europeans.
This was with devastating fast breaks converted after their opponents turned the ball over 17 times in attack.
Right-back Faruk Yusuf finished the first half with six goals, three of which came via fast breaks, as the West Africans were impossible to stop, displaying amazing speed on that part of the ball.
An 11-2 start for Nigeria, which saw Azerbaijan score only two goals in the first 15 minutes of the first half, was the cue the African side needed to cruise to the win.
Yusuf extended his superb run in the game, finishing it with a 13-goal performance, taking his overall tally in the competition to 19 goals.
It is the second largest after the group phase, only two goals shy of the leader, Andorra’s Unai Ruiz.
Without missing a beat, Nigeria jumped to a 35-17 win, their second-largest in history at the tournament, failing to beat their record set in 2019, 40-13 against Malta.
Nigeria will now face Great Britain in the Placement Matches on Saturday, aiming to improve their best position in the competition, the seventh place at Georgia in 2019.
The tournament which began on Wednesday is expected to end on Sunday.