December 4, 2022

FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup: Nigeria crashes out ·As Ghana lands in quarter-final

October 8, 2016

·Flamingoes came to learn —Nikyu

Nigeria’s Flamingoes on Saturday crashed out of the ongoing fifth FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan, following a 0-3 loss to Korea DPR in their last group C game decided at the Amman International Stadium, Amman.

The Flamingoes for the second time in the global competition failed to qualify for the knockout stage and capped the Jordan 2016 debacle with a record of not scoring a goal in three games.

The Bala Nikyu-piloted side had started its campaign in Jordan with a 0-1 loss to Brazil and drew 0-0 with England before Saturday’s match.

Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie made a few saves, but could not prevent the demolition of the Flamingoes.

Captain Rasheedat Ajibade’s free kick in the 12th minute went wide, while two minutes later, her close range grounder was saved by goalkeeper Ok Jim Ku.

Ajibade again won a free-kick in the 20th minute when the Korean keeper came out to stop her from scoring, but the resultant kick which she took herself went wide.

The Koreans seized the scoring initiative from the Africans in the 30th minute when Ri Hae Yon after collecting a well-floated pass sent the ball to the right side of badly-positioned Nnadozie. Nigeria two minutes later wasted what would have been an equaliser when an unmarked Happiness Titus flick off a cross from Mary-Ann Ezenagu in the box missed the target.

Yon made it two for the Koreans before half time when she beat Nnadozie with a perfect grounder off a superb team-work.

Christy Ucheibe and Arit Itu came on in the early part of the second half, but the Flamingoes could not overcome their scoring defect.

Keeper Nnadozie in the 59th minute was brilliant enough to save the Flamingoes from an embarrassing goal when she dived rightly to cuddle a grounder from S. Hyang Sim.

Yon eventually bagged a hat-trick in the 83rd minute when she connected K. Jong Sim’s free kick past keeper Nnadozie, following an infringement committed at the edge of the box by Peace Efih, who brought down Ki Pom Ui.

Korea DPR topped the group with seven points ahead of England which placed second with five points following its sensational 2-1 victory over Brazil in the game also played on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Ghana restored Africa’s pride also on Saturday following its 1-0 victory over Paraguay to qualify for the quarter-final of the competition alongside side Japan which finished tops with nine points.

The Black Maidens had started their campaign with a 0-5 loss to Japan, before they came back to beat the United States of America (USA) 2-1 and secured a 68th minute’s goal against Paraguay through captain Sandra Owusu-Ansah to finish second on the table with six points.

Ghana remains the only surviving African team in the tournament and will now face Korea in the quarter-final on Friday, October 13, while Japan will face England also on the same day.

…Flamingoes came to learn —Nikyu
Head coach of the Flamingoes, Bala Nikyu has said his players will still learn some positives despite Nigeria’s exit from the ongoing fifth FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan at the group stage.

“In football you must have a winner and a loser and, in the spirit of the game, if you lose, you take it. Football is like that. If you conceded goals, you conceded goals. The Journey has been cut short for many teams,” Nikyu told at the post-match conference after his team lost 0-3 to Korea DPR on Saturday in Amman.

He stated that “many teams are leaving Jordan by Monday. For us, it’s not about feeling bad. We have taken part in the World Cup and that is a wonderful experience. For most of the players, this was a new experience for them. A new and great experience. Next time, they can be better.”

Meanwhile, his counterpart from Korea DPR, Sin Jong Bok said his game-plan demystified the Flamingoes adding that the group was a tough one.

“I would like to say that Nigeria is one of the top teams in FIFA competitions and in all of world football. Our group was tough. Each team in our group was a top team. Before we arrived here we had no information on these teams. But once here, we could focus on our opponents by watching their matches carefully and talking among our coaching staff.”

“I think this really helped us qualify for the next phase. Just like we tried to focus against Nigeria on counter-attacking football, we will continue to keep focusing on our opponents playing style,” Bok said.

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