Nigeria’s U-17 female team, the Flamingoes, booked their passage to the quarterfinals of the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India. The Nigerian girls defeated their counterparts from Chile 2-1 in their final group game to join Germany in the last eight.
After a convincing win over New Zealand, the Nigerians needed only to avoid defeat against their South American counterparts to reach the last eight. Coach Bankole Olowookere opted to rest captain Alvine Dah-Zossu for the match as he made one change to the starting line-up.
The Flamingoes wasted no time to go in front against the Chileans as stand-in captain Blessing Emmanuel rifled home an effort from the edge of the box after she was set up by impressive forward Opeyemi Ajakaye. The goal came only four minutes into the encounter and set the tone for what was to come.
The Nigerian girls continued to dominate proceedings, with the industrious Ajakaye and Amina Bello running rings around the Chileans at will. The South Americans had more of the ball, but could not find a way to progress the ball into the Nigerian penalty area.
Ajakaye and Bello continued to rain chaos on the Chileans and almost combined to double the Nigerians’ advantage, with a goal-line clearance denying Bello after her header beat the goalkeeper. The Flamingoes ended the first half in total control, as the Chileans failed to even attempt a single shot.
The second half saw more of the same, with the Flamingoes creating several openings but proving to be very wasteful in attack. They carved the Chilean team open at will but failed to find the net. Ajakaye was everywhere, linking the play, running the channels and trying to score her first goal of the tournament. The youngster saw a fierce effort from outside the box crash against the crossbar after she was played in by Bello.
The Nigerians finally doubled their advantage as forward Bisola Mosaku rifled home from close range in the 82nd minute. The youngster fired the ball high into the net after Bello cushioned a header towards her.
Chile pulled one back in the 90th minute from the penalty spot through Tali Rovner after the impressive Omamuze Edafe handled the ball in the box.
The Flamingoes will now join Germany in the quarterfinals of the competition after the Germans sealed their third consecutive win of the group. They will now face one of Brazil, USA or Morocco for a place in the semifinals.