Falconets book quarter-finals ticket, beat Korea Republic 1-0

The Falconets of Nigeria on Sunday booked their quarter-final ticket, by beating the Korea Republic’s Taegeuk Nangja 1-0 in the FIFA U-20 World Cup ongoing in Costa Rica.

The second match of the tournament for Nigeria and the Korea Republic was delayed for a time due to a heavy downpour just as recorded in the Falconets’ first match against France. The Taegeuk ladies on resumption threatened the Falconets with their pace but the Nigerian ladies were able to curtail them with their robust style of play.

Esther Onyenezide’s 83 minutes strike from outside the 18th-yard box gave Nigeria the needed lead and advancement to the quarterfinals. Nigeria have beaten France 1-0 at the Le Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica in San José in their first match played early Friday morning, now leading Group C with a maximum of 6 points.

Tosin Demehin, the Falconets captain expressed her delight with the team’s victory over the Korea Republic but insisted the team still has more to play for. She celebrated the victory on her Twitter handle as she twitted;

“A successful team beats with one heart +3 with a clean sheet, 2 gone, 4 more to go.. it can only get better,” she wrote.

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The Falconets will battle Canada on Wednesday, August 17 by 3 am Nigerian time to seek consolidation of their group leader. The Falconets will face Japan, the defending champions, the USA, three times champions of the tournament, or the Netherlands women in their quarterfinals match going by the group table as at the time of reporting.

Japan tops the group with six points after beating the Netherlands and Ghana in their first group matches, while USA and Netherlands have three points each from two games.

Ghana, the other African country in the tournament is mathematically out of the tournament have lost two matches in the group, and will be squaring up against the hard-fighting Netherlands in the last group match, with the USA and Japan testing their strengths, the American ladies will be gunning for a qualification point, while Japan will try to consolidate their position as group leaders.

The FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup is a biannual competition that started in 2002 as a U-19 hosted by Canada. In 2006 Russia hosted the first U-20 Women’s World Cup tournament won by Korea DPR.

Nigeria has qualified for every edition of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup since its inception in 2002 and has been runners-up twice, losing to Germany on both occasions in 2010 and 2014.

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