Azerbaijan 2012: Nigeria battles Colombia for Q/final ticket

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Nigeria’s female U-17 team, the Flamingoes, look good to seal their place in the quarter finals of the ongoing Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan as they take on their Colombian counterparts in one of the final Group A games billed for Saturday afternoon.

According to Gracious Akujobi, Media officer to the Flamingoes, the mood in the camp of the Nigerian ladies is high ahead of their all important last group game against the South American giants

“The situation is every bit as exciting as Flamingoes and Canada are level on four points, with Colombia hot on their heels with three,” Akujobi explained to PREMIUM TIMES.

Already, hosts, Azerbaijan are out of contention for a quarter final ticket, as they are yet to pick up a point and sit at the foot of the table. On paper, at least, Canada appears to have the easier route to the last eight as they play the hosts who only have pride to play for.

This means that Nigeria and Colombia will have to fight for their tournament survival as both teams still have a realistic chance of pulling through. Nigeria only needs a draw to qualify while a win may see them top the group considering the number of goals scored against the host nation.

The Nigerian team had an official feel of the stadium on Friday, ahead of Saturday’s cracker, which is the routine in FIFA organized competition.


Players’ promise

Tournament highest goal scorer, Chinwe Ihezuo, has promised to continue scoring and take the team to the quarterfinal round.

She said: “I am really excited to be the highest goal scorer for now and will continue to score in every match because I want to win the golden boot of this tournament”.

In the same vein, Aminat Yakubu, who has the record of the youngest goal scorer at the tournament, is equally optimistic that she will score some goals against Colombia if given the opportunity.

“If I am given the opportunity to play against Colombia, I promise that I will score goals to help my team qualify for the next round” said Yakubu.

Officials for the match are referee, Samuels Cardelia (Jamaica); assisted by Aguilar Elizabeth (Slovenia), Liverpool Nykasie (Guyana), while the fourth official is Radzik Johan Karolina (Poland).  The Match Commissioner is Herrera Sabdra.

The match will be played in Bayil stadium, Baku, and kicks-off at 8p.m., Azerbaijani time, and 4p.m. Nigerian time.