U-20 WWC: Resilient Falconets hold China to reach quarterfinals


Nigeria Women’s national youth football team, the Falconets, have sealed qualification for the quarterfinals of the ongoing FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.

The Christopher Danjuma-led squad needed at least a draw in their final Group D match against China to qualify, having lost their first match against Germany and won against Haiti.

Falconets were in high spirit from the start of the game as well as the Asians, who went in front just 4 minutes before half-time.

And despite their efforts in the second half, Nigeria trailed unto stoppage time. They did not relent however, and it paid off in the very last minute of the game as they found the much-needed equaliser.

Read Also: MATCHDAY: Dalung pledges $10,000 for Falconets to beat China

Both teams stand on 4 points, but Nigeria join Germany into the last 8, as they qualify on goals difference ahead of China.

After a highly-contested 40 minutes at the the Stade de Clos Gastel in France, Linyan ZHANG put China ahead in the 41st minute.

The goal put the Falconets on the brink of early exit from the biennial tournament, and they would have failed to reach the last for the 3rd time in 9 appearances.

Hopes were restored in the 94th minute when Rasheedat Ajibade’s last kick of the ball forced an own goal from a Chinese player and sealed Nigeria’s place in the next round.

In the other group D match, winners Germany won against Haiti, who are already out of the tournament.

The Falconets will face the winner in Group C, Spain on the 16th of August.


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Ben Ugbana

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