FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup: Nigeria Equals Ghana’s Record After Winning Bronze Medal
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By Amaechi Agbo
Nigeria’s U-17 women’s national team, the Flamingos on Sunday equalled Ghana’s record in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup after they defeated Germany 3-2 on penalties to win Africa’s second bronze medal in the history of the tournament.
Ghana won the first bronze medal in 2012 edition of the tournament after beating Germany 1-0 in the 3rd place match at the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium, Baku, Azerbaijan
Nigeria’s Flamingos who reached the semi-final for the first time since the inception of the tournament in 2008, needed the lottery of penalty to overcome the Germans after seeing their 3-0 lead in the regulation slip away.
Opeyemi Ajakaye scored the opener and her only goal in the tournament in the 20th minute but missed chances by the Nigerians ensured that the first 45 minutes ended with a solitary goal.
However, three minutes into the restart, Amina Bello doubled the lead with a brilliant header before substitute Etim Edidiong made it 3 on the dot of 63rd minute.
With the team coasting to victory, Jella Viet pulled one back for the Germans as they began their journey back into the game.
The Nigerian girls were once again rattled with two minute left to play when Platiner Paulina got the second and it did not take long before they levelled scores after Loreen Bender scored in the 90th minutes to drag the match into penalty shootout
While Nigeria missed a chance in the shout-out, German wasted their two kicks to hand the Nigeria girls their first ever World Cup medal at that level.
Flamingos striker Opeyemi Ajakaye won the Player of the Match award for her impact in the team’s triumph over the Germans. Her third of the tournament.