The chairperson of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Women’s Football Committee, Alhaja Ayo Omidiran, and the federation’s General-Secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi, have expressed delight with the Falconets’ qualification for the quarterfinal of the FFIA U20 Women’s World Cup in France.
Omidiran and Sanusi were filled with joy when Falconets striker, Rasheedat Ajibade, scored the late equaliser in the 95th minute of play to send Nigeria to the quarter finals of the 9th edition of the competition. The match ended in a 1-1 draw which gave the Nigerian team the advantage to zoom into the quarter finals..
The Falconets’ top scorer, Ajibade, took a dive to hit the ball with a Chinese defender in front of her to the near post in a last – gasp effort from a cross by Aishat Bello, to break Chinese hearts and shoot Africa’s most successful women’s football team at the World Cup level to their seventh berth in the knockout stages in nine editions of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals.
Zhang Linyan gave China the breakthrough they needed with a 41st minute goal, and they were on their way to the last eight until Ajibade’s strike which ensured the Falconets finished Group D in second place on goals balance from the Asians, though on same number of points (four).
While Germany finished top of the pool with maximum nine points, the Falconets will now take on Spain in the tournament quarter finals.
Sanusi, praised the ladies for their effort, adding: “The Falconets deserve commendation for the way they fought all the way to the end and got the important goal.
“The NFF is proud of their dedication, discipline and commitment, and we believe they have what it takes to overcome Spain in the quarter finals.”