Back to back defeats to United States and Japan means Nigeria Women’s U-20 team, the Falconets, will return to the country empty handed from this edition of the FIFA Women’s U20 World Cup.
Hosts Japan defeated Nigeria 2-1 to claim third place Saturday morning in an exciting match played at the National Stadium in Tokyo.
Goals in either half from Yoko Tanaka and Asuka Nishikawa made sure Japan got something to cheer for being a great host of the championship.
Desire Oparanozie’s freekick from the left flank appeared headed for goal but instead hit the far post and then away to safety.
Then Japan’s Tanaka gave her country the lead midway into the first half, scoring what was her sixth of the competition.
Nigeria had more ball possession but failed to convert that advantage to goals.
Five minutes into the second half, the host sealed their victory as Nishikawa punished Nigeria again.
Nigeria later upped its game with Oparanozie scoring a freekick in the 73rd minute and dominating the game for the rest of the period.
But Japan held tightly to its lead and made sure it laughed last.
For Nigeria it was a disappointment going two steps back having reached the finals last year only to lose to host Germany and return home with the silver medal.