NIGERIAN FALCONETS PIP SOUTH KOREA, REACH WORLD CUP QUARTER FINALS.
Written by AIGBOKHAEBHO OKHUELEIGBE on August 15, 2022
Nigeria’s under 20 women’s national football team, the Falconets have booked a place in the Quarter-finals of the ongoing 10th FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.
The team led by Chris Danjuma recorded a 1-0 victory against South Korea in their second group game played on Sunday.
South Korean girls were brimming with confidence going into the match after defeating Canada 2-0 in their first match.
On the other hand, the Falconets started their tournament with a 1-0 win against European champions France and understood that a victory will bring them closer to securing a spot in the round of 8.
As was the case against France in the tournament’s group opener, the Falconets struggled to find the back of the net and would end 45 minutes of the first half-action deadlocked.
The second half saw both teams contesting more for the balls, and showing some good attacking intents. Yoonji Do was on hand to save a fearsome shot from Oyenezide in the 54th minute.
Oyono Omini, in goal for Nigeria on the night, had to parry away a fierce 25-yard shot unleashed by Eunyoung Lee in the 64th minute. There was little to choose between the two teams until the 83rd minute when midfielder Onyenezide hit a thunderbolt past Do.
The Nigerian girls grew into the game in second-half proceedings, and their resilience paid off late in the match when Esther Onyenezide’s power shot resulted in a goal in the 83rd minute and gave the Falconets the all-important victory against the South Koreans.
The Falconets celebrated the goal by dancing to the Nigerian hit song ‘Buga’ by Kizz Daniel. It was the only goal of the match. Hayeon Mu missed a good chance from a corner kick which would have seen the match ending in a stalemate. Garam Chun hit the upright from a free-kick earlier on in the match.
Nigeria’s defense kept things tight even in the midfield, with Mercy Idoko, Onyenezide and Bashirat Amoo working tirelessly.
The Falconets held on for all three points and booked a place in the quarterfinals with two victories from two games they will next take on Canada in their final group game scheduled for the early hours of Thursday, August 18, 2022, a match that could yet decide who tops the group going into the quarterfinals.
The Canadian girls defeated France 3 – 1 later on the night, and stand a chance of reaching the round of 8 if they defeat the falconets convincingly in the final group game.