Flamingos hit quarterfinal, face free-scoring USA
Nigeria’s U-17 women’s national team, The Flamingos, will face USA in the quarterfinal of the ongoing India 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup. The Flamingos, yesterday, secured their passage to the quarterfinal with a 2-1 victory over Chile in Group B.
While Nigeria face USA in the first quarterfinal match on Friday at 12 noon, Germany will square against Brazil at 4:00pm.
USA defeated Morocco 4-0 yesterday to top group A, scoring 13 goals and conceding just one in three matches. Brazil spelled the host, India, 5-0.
The Nigerians, who lost their opening match 1-2 to Germany, defeated New Zealand 4-0 on Friday before eliminating the Chileans yesterday at the Kalinga Stadium.
The team coached by Bankole Oloworooke, who needed a win or draw in yesterday’s encounter to ensure qualification to the knockout stage, got off to a brilliant start in the 4th minute, when stand-in captain, Blessing Emmanuel, struck.
Not ready to gamble with their 1-0 lead, The Flamingos piled up the pressure, shooting from every corner, but could not find additional goal despite numerous scoring chances that came their way.
The relentless attack by The Flamingos continued in the second half, as Opeyemi Ajakaye, who emerged as top scorer in the qualifying stages in Africa, rattled the crossbar with a thunderous strike in the 74th minute.
Four minutes later, Ajakaye, who provided the assist for Emmanuel’s goal, found Amina Bello, but her long-range shot was pushed into corner by the Chilean keeper, Catalina Alvarado.
The Flamingos scored their second goal in the 90th minute with a shot from Bisola Mosaku.
The Chileans got a goal from the penalty spot when the VAR ruled that right back, Omamuzo Edafe, handled the ball inside the penalty area.
The Nigerians are making their fourth quarterfinals appearance in the tournament’s history.
In the other Group B match played yesterday, Germany defeated New Zealand 3-1.