Nigeria’s U-17 women’s national team, the Flamingoes, have booked their passage into the last four of the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup after a 4-3 penalty shootout win over the USA. The Nigerian side won the match after it ended 1-1 after regulation time.
After scaling through the group stage hurdle, the Bankole Olowookere-tutored Flamingoes were up against an American side that had topped their group which contained Brazil, Morocco and India.
The Nigerians took the lead after only 27 minutes when right-back Omamuzo Edafe fired home from the penalty spot. The Americans equalised within 13 minutes as Amalia Villarreal saw her effort deflect off a Nigerian defender before flying into the back of the net.
Both sides continued to probe and push in search of a decisive second goal which never came, leading to a penalty shootout to decide the encounter. Just before the commencement of the shootout, Flamingoes coach Olowookere substituted goalkeeper Faith Omilana off, sending on Chikamso Jiwuaku in her stead. A stricken Amina Bello was also replaced by Offiong Immaculate.
Both substitutes were important as Immaculate scored a penalty for the side while Jiwuaku pulled off an impressive stop as the Nigerians won the shootout 4-3. The Flamingoes have now reached the semifinals of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup for the first time in their history, and will face one of Colombia or Tanzania for a place in the final.