The African champions defeated Hungary 2-0 in their final Group E match of the tournament to finish second and set up Group C winners Germany in the round of 16.
The Flying Eagles were in dominant form at the Taranaki stadium and, aside Mario Nemeth’s long-range shot from 30 yards out which struck the crossbar with goalkeeper Joshua Enaholo well beaten, were rarely troubled by Hungary.
Awoniyi almost grabbed the opener in the 16th minute but his close range shot ended at the mercy of goalkeeper Gyorgy Szekely’s outstretched palm.
The forward eventually broke the deadlock three minutes after the half-hour mark, evading his marker before volleying in at the near post from a Saviour Godwin low cross.
Taiwo Awoniyi Celebrate Goal With Team-Mates at the Taranaki Stadium. Image: FIFA via Getty.
He doubled his tally in the 54th minute following a mixup between Attila Osvaty and Akos Kecskes; the Hingarian duo who leaped for a header on the halfway line but collided and lost the ball to Awoniyi. The Nigerian beat the last man on the defence, rounded Szekely and buried the ball inside the empty net.
Hungary however progressed to the round of 16 as one of the best third-placed sides and will face Group D winners Serbia in Dunedin on Wednesday.
The Flying Eagles’ top-biller against European champions Germany comes up on Thursday in Christchurch (kickoff 8:30AM Nigerian time)