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NIGERIA’S HERIONE ONYENEZIDE SENDS FALCONETS INTO QUARTER FINAL U-20 WORLD CUP

Falconets of Nigeria has qualified for the quarter final in the ongoing FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica, beating South Korea in a scheduled match that was delayed for an hour -fifteen minutes due to heavy rain.

The Falconets who defeated France in Group C opening match 1-0 struck through Esther Onyenezide in the closing minutes of the second half to give Nigeria a 1-0 victory over South Korea. Bashirat Amoo had made an early attempt for the coach Christopher Danjuma led Falconets, but her long range effort from a free kick was saved by South Korean keeper Jim Kyeong- Hee.

Despite the rain which delayed scheduled match from 9pm local time (Nigeria) and shifted to 10.15pm both sides were not deterred by the pitch as the Koreans came close to scoring in the 22nd minute with a long range strike from Lee Soo which the ball hit woodwork.

The Koreans quick play and accuracy in passes was well checked by the Nigerian players that defended brilliantly. In the closing minutes of the first half with four minutes left Amoo was in action as her long range strike went off target.

On resumption of the second half the Falconets maintained disciplined play with less tackles, creating further intensity in the attack. In the fifth minute of the second half, Esther Onyenezide who was the heroine of the match created an opportunity to the box of the opponent with a long cross into the area but the Nigeria attackers were less fast as the South Korean goal rose high catching the ball.

But at the twilight of the second half, Onyenezide’s goal which won the match for Nigeria and earned her the player of the match was a beauty. She got the ball off the 18 yard-box, intelligent- quick reaction she unleashed a shot outside the box to beat the Korean goaltender in the 83 minute for a win for Nigeria.

With the victory Nigeria has qualified for the quarter final of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and will play Canada next in the final Group C match on the 18th August. The Falconets will continue their quest for 9 points having earlier defeated France 1-0 in Group C match. 

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