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U-20 Women’s World Cup: Falconets Advance To Quarter-Finals

By Chidi Nwoke, Abuja.

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Nigeria’s U-20 Women’s football team, the Falconets, reached the quarter-finals of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, after a 1-0 victory against Korea Republic in the city of Alajela, Costa Rica.

The match was a top-of-the-table encounter as Nigeria and Korea Republic came into the game with victories against France and Canada, respectively. Though the two teams were tied on three points, the Asians led Group C with a superior goal difference after defeating Canada 2-0, as opposed to Nigeria’s 1-0 victory against France.

After one-hour delay due to a flooded pitch, the game finally began. Both teams match each other woman-to-woman in every position, leaving chances to score limited in the first half.

Nigeria Vs Korea Republic

In the second half, Onyenezide tested Korea Republic goalkeeper Yoonji Do with a powerful shot from the right side. However, Do made a great save to keep her out.

Moments later, the Nigerian goalkeeper Oyono Omini made a great save to parry Eunyoung Lee’s fierce shot away. Both goalkeepers displaying brilliant form in the tie.

In the 83rd minute, Falconets midfielder Esther Onyenezide fired in a thunderous shot past goalkeeper Do, sending the fans in the stadium into a frenzy.

The Falconets held on as Mercy Idoko, Onyenezide, and Bashirat Amoo worked tirelessly in the middle of the pitch to keep the Asians out. The referee blew the final whistle as the match finished 1-0 in favour of Nigeria.

Nigeria’s quarter-final opponents will most likely come from Group D, which includes defending champions Japan, the Netherlands, the United States, and Ghana.

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