Nigeria’s Flamingos Defeat  U.S., Advance To Their First-ever Semifinal

Flamingos Defeat U.S.
Nigeria’s U-17 women’s national team, The Flamingos, proved bookmakers wrong yesterday by defeating pre-championship favourite, the United States of America, in the quarterfinals of the ongoing India 2022 U-17 Women’s World Cup.

The Flamingos won 4-3 on penalty to advance to the semi-finals, marking Nigeria’s first appearance in the competition’s final four.

At the end of regulation time, the score was 1-1.

It was the first quarterfinal match at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi Mumbai, but it was postponed due to inclement weather. The match was scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m., but a loud thunderclap during Nigeria’s national anthem forced FIFA to delay the kickoff.

Nigeria took the lead in the 27th minute when the Video Assistant Referee adjudged that Aminat Omowunmi Bello had been unfairly hacked in the box as Nigeria launched an onslaught. Right back, Omamuzo Edafe, scored from the spot.

The Americans, seeking a place in the last four for the first time in 14 years, were back on level terms 13 minutes later, after an unlucky Comfort Folorunsho diverted a fierce shot at the edge of the area past goalkeeper Faith Omilana.

Efforts by both teams to get more goals were unsuccessful. The Americans were denied by Nigeria’s stout defending with six minutes left when Miracle Usani heaved the ball away after Omilana, who had been teased out by Gamero Onyeka.

It went straight into penalties after 90 minutes and Edidiong Etim, Immaculata Offiong, Miracle Usani and Omamuzo Edafe scored for Nigeria, while defender Comfort Folorunsho missed as her kick went over the bar.

Her miss did not matter as America’s Emri blew equally her kick wide and substitute goalkeeper Linda Jiwuaku saved from Bhuta to give Nigeria the day.

The victory mirrored the events of July 25, 2010 in Augsburg, Germany, when the Nigeria U-20 girls defeated the USA counterparts 4-2 on penalty after a 1-1 draw in a FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup quarter-final match.

With a place in the semifinals already secured, the Flamingos will face the winner of the match between Colombia and Tanzania.

Ada Peter
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