Nigeria’s Flamingos beat favorites the United States 4-3 on penalties after the game ended 1-1 to reach the semi-finals of the U-17 World Cup.
Flamingos reached their first semifinals
They needed penalties to defeat the USA
To face the winner between Colombia and Tanzania
WHAT HAPPENED? In the game at the D Y Patil Sports Stadium in Mumbai, the Flamingos opened the gap in the 26th minute, when they received a penalty after Amina Bello was fouled inside the area. Omamuzo Edafe came forward to send goalkeeper Valentina Cerri Do Amaral the wrong way.
The USA equalized in the 40th minute when Amelia Villarreal’s shot was deflected to beat Flamingo goalkeeper Faith Omilana. With the game ending 1-1 in normal time and added time, penalties were used to decide the winner.
Nigeria scored their penalties with Edidiong Etim, Edet Offiong, Miracle Usnai and Edafe, while Comfort Folorunsho’s shot came inches away. Meanwhile, the US scored theirs through Emeri Adames, Taylor Suarez and Mia Bhuta. Ella Emri and Riley Jackson missed their kicks.
THE BIGGER FRAME: Since losing their Group B opener 2-1 to Germany on 11 October, Nigeria under manager Bankole Olowookere have come out ahead to win their last three matches.
After Germany, they bounced back to beat New Zealand 4-0 and beat Chile 2-1 to reach the quarterfinals where they beat the US.
DID YOU KNOW? The victory allowed Nigeria to break a bad luck by reaching the quarter-finals of the competition for the first time. The Flamingos have participated in the finals six times and have won three quarterfinals on three occasions – 2010, 2012 and 2014.
WHAT DID OLOWOOKERE SAY? “I’m happy with the win, there’s nothing I can give the Nigerians other than winning the game. We’re happy with the team, nobody gave us a chance but we’re not destined to go out in the quarter-finals. I’m happy, we have a good future ahead.”
GOING TO NIGERIA: The Olowookere girls will face the winners between Colombia and Tanzania in the quarterfinals at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 26.