Nigeria’s U17 girls, Flamingos were mentioned in the same breath as a number of the country’s movers and shakers in…
The girls, who arrived Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja early afternoon on Tuesday, got a warm reception.
The girls had featured at the inaugural edition of the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in New Zealand with a win, loss and draw
The Nigerian girls achieved the feat on Sunday afternoon when they defeated their counterparts from Germany
The Flamingos lost in the semifinal match during sudden death after they pulled a stunning 1-1 draw with Colombia
President of NFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau on Tuesday arrived in the Indian city of Goa, where he will lead the cheers as Africa’s best team seeks to extend their FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup record by reaching Sunday’s final.
The NFF boss, who has spoken with the players and officials severally during their earlier games in the tournament, will physically witness the semi-final showdown at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa. It is the first semi-final, starting at 4pm (12noon Nigeria time) with the second semi-final between Germany and Spain to kick off three-and-half hours later.
Both countries take to the Pandit Jawaharlal Stadium in Goa as from 8pm India time (4pm Nigeria time) in what is the second match of Group B, at the same time as hosts India take on USA at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar in what is the official opening match of the competition.
Fourteen goals for and none against is the tally of the Nigerian girls in this campaign, after 8-0 and 6-0 aggregate wins over DR Congo and Egypt respectively.
After home-and-away victories over the Democratic Republic of Congo and Egypt, the Flamingos have a final hurdle to negotiate against a team that sensationally sent South Africa’s Bantwana packing with a 3-0 win in Johannesburg.
Defender Tumininu Adeshina had flashed a shot into the side-netting in the 13th minute before team’s leading scorer Opeyemi Ajakaiye drew applause with a snap shot after chesting the ball outside the eighteen-yard box. But the ball was slightly off target.
The result in Benin City, the Edo State capital, took the Flamingos to an 8-0 aggregate win over the Central Africans.
The three-time World Cup quarterfinalists started the game like a house on fire, and dominated the hosts to such a degree that it was a surprise the opening goal did not come until the 36th minute.
The Flamingos started a qualifying campaign for the championship two years ago, defeating their Guinean counterparts home and away, before the global coronavirus pandemic compelled world football –governing body, FIFA to jettison the process and forget the 2020 competition altogether.
Both teams ended the first leg, played at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City penultimate weekend, 2-2 and the tie is delicately balanced considering Nigeria’s pedigree in women football in the continent
The Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City was the venue for the U20 girls, Falconets’ easy qualification for the 9th FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup only a week ago, after a 6-0 pounding of South Africa’s Basetsana
The Bantwana had no way whatsoever back into the fixture and must have been grateful for the low scoreline outside Johannesburg as the Flamingos missed a hatful of chances
The Flamingos have now qualified for the final round
“I don’t want to mention any player because they all did well – its team work – they played for themselves to win,” Nikyu said
The Nigeria U17 Women will begin their campaign when they trade tackles with their Chinese counterparts in the second Group D clash at the 16,625 capacity Alejandro Morera Soto Scotiabank Stadium in Alajuela