Nigeria’s Flamingos have qualified for the semi-finals of this year’s U-17 women’s World Cup in India after beating USA on penalties in Friday’s quarter-finals, Abbeylivenetwork.com reports.
After 90 minutes of football had ended 1-1, the game was decided via penalty shootout with the Flamingos triumphing 4-3 to qualify for a first-ever semi-final place.
In the 12th minute, Nigeria got its first chance of the game. Tumininu Adeshina’s well swung in cross was met by the head of Opeyemi Ajakaye who couldn’t control the ball home.
Three minutes later the Americans almost got in front through Onyeka Gamero. Ella Sanchez sent her through on goal and she sent her shot across goal.
In the 25th minute, Amina Bello was fouled in the box by Sanchez and the referee through the help of the VAR awarded a penalty kick for Nigeria.
Omamuzo Edafe stepped up and confidently dispatched the penalty kick in the 26th minute.
Two minutes later, the North Americans were almost back on level terms through Lauren Martinho who had her shot defected for a corner kick.
USA finally pegged Nigeria back in the 40th minute following Amalla Villarreal’s close range shot that was deflected by Comfort Fólórunsó.
The first half ended 1-1 with USA controlling majority of the game.
In the 58th minute, Bankole Olowookere brought on Edidiong Etim as a replacement for Tummimu Adeshina.
Just a minute later the Nigerian girls were close to taking the lead once again but Edafe’s attacking run was stopped in the box.
In the 61st minute, Faith Omilana made a huge save. The lanky goalkeeper parried Gamero’s shot.
In the 71st minute,Oyinlola fired straight from distance into the arms of the American keeper.
Four minutes before the end of regular time, Usani provided a well timed goal line clearance to keep the Flamingos in the game.
lowookere made a double substitution in the dying embers of the game with Amina Bello coming out for Offing Immaculate and Faith Omilana being replaced by Linda Jiwuaku.
In the penalty shootout, Nigeria edged USA 4-3 after five rounds of kicks, with Edafe scoring the decisive spot kick.
Nigeria will face either Tanzania or Colombia in the semifinals of the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.