Nigeria’s Falconets are through to the quarter finals of the ongoing FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Canada after defeating England 2-1 in the early hours of Thursday at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.
The victory for the Nigerian ladies ensured that they finished top of their group with seven points and will now face Group D’s runners-up, New Zealand, in the quarterfinals.
In Thursday morning’s duel with the English ladies, Nigeria started on the back foot when after just five minutes of action, Nikita Parris shot England into the lead after collecting a clever through ball from Hannah Blundell and hitting past the Falconets’ goalkeeper, Ibijoke Sangonuga.
The Nigerian ladies, however, rallied back with just four minutes to the end of the first half after Loveth Ayila beat her marker with a skilful drag-back and shot powerfully from 25 yards.
Goalkeeper Lizzie Durack got a hand to it but was unable to prevent the ball hitting the back of the net.
Nigeria got what turned to be the winner in the 59th minute when Asisat Oshoala was brought down after dribbling into the penalty. She stepped up to coolly side-foot the resultant spot-kick into the bottom-right corner.
The victory against England on Thursday is the first for Nigeria in the history of the women’s competition as previous duels have ended in stalemates.