Falconets Qualify For Quarter Finals As NFF President, Chris Giwa Thumbs Up Team

The National Under-20 women team, the Falconets have qualified for the quarter finals of the ongoing FIFA Under-20 Women World Cup in France. 

The Christopher Danjuma tutored girls had to dig deep from their arsenal to force the more technically balanced Chinese side to a one - all draw.

The match, expectedly, lived up to billing as a tough encounter for both sides, considering what was at stake for the two teams, with Nigeria needing a draw to progress and China requiring the maximum points to stray on.

The Asians had better control of the game in the first half, stringing more coordinated passes and causing more troubles for the Falconets, and creating better chances in Nigeria's vital area.

The Chinese were rewarded in the 41st minute, when a mix-up and loss of concentration among the Nigerian ladies provided the Asians an opportunity to take the lead, which they held on until the interval.

Coach Danjuma's pep talk at interval must have inspired and fired the Falconets in the second half, as they showed more determination to equalise, even as the Chinese held on and continued to show flashes of their domination in the first half.

When all hopes seemed to have been lost, for the lilly-livered, the Falconets kept on the pressure, and one of those anxious moments for the Chinese, resulted in a back-breaking equaliser in added time through Captain Rasheed at Ajibade, to send Nigeria to the quarter finals and a date with Group C winners, Spain on Thursday, 16th August.


Meanwhile, President of Nigeria Football Federation, Amb. Chris Giwa has commended the Falconets for picking a quarter final ticket.

Amb. Giwa said the girls gave their all, till the very end and got the deserved equaliser needed to progress from the group. 

"We are happy the girls qualified that is what is most important for us. It was definitely going to be a tough and difficult game for the Falconets considering what was at stake, "he noted. 

The President argued:" The Chinese dominated the first half and seem to have played better, but our girls knew what was important, picking a point and progressing, and that was what they did"

"We have crossed the group hurdle and can now look ahead to the next match, and hope the coaches will work on some of the lapses noticed in the game, before our next match, Amb. Giwa concluded. 

In the meantime, the Acting General Secretary of the NFF, Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme has described the qualification of the Falconets as a demonstration of hardwork, determination and can-do-spirit of the average Nigerian. 

"I am very proud of the girls because they held on till the end , even when the odds were against them, and the reward for their efforts was the draw that was needed for the quarter final ticket,"Dr. Ikpeme stated. 

He noted:" From now on, anything is possible with hardwork and determination, our girls can have the better of their next opponents in the quarter finals and hopefully, progress to the semis."

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