India 2022: High-flying Flamingos secure World Cup berth | Dailytrust

India 2022: High-flying Flamingos secure World Cup berth

   Group photograph of Flamingos ahead of the game against Ethiopia yesterday
Group photograph of Flamingos ahead of the game against Ethiopia yesterday

Nigeria’s U-17 female team, Flamingos, have secured one of the three African slots after playing 1-0 aggregate over Ethiopia in the final qualifying rounds on Saturday.

The Bankole Olowokeere side had won the first leg 1-0 away before playing an entertaining 0-0 draw at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja to end the campaign with 15 goals without conceding a single goal.

They had several chances to score goals but the Ethiopian goalkeeper refused to allow the girls to breach her defence.

Flamingos kickstarted their chase for a ticket to this year’s FIFA U17 World Cup finals with a comprehensive 3-0 victory over DR Congo in the second round, first leg encounter in Kinshasa in March 2022.

A few days later, two goals by Opeyemi Ajakaiye and one each by Tumininu Adeshina, Anastasia Atume and Taiwo Afolabi steered Nigeria’s U17 girls to a 5-0 defeat in the return leg in Benin City took the Flamingos to an 8-0 aggregate win over the Central Africans.

Brimming with confidence, the girls went a notch higher and defeated the Egyptian girls 4-0 at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja in the final round of the African qualification and completing the rout few days later to end the clash 6-0 on aggregate prior to the final rounds with Ethiopia.

Speaking with journalists after the game, the coach, Bankole praised his team for getting the ticker while pointing out the need to work on some aspects of their game before the Mundial.

“We have seen our errors and we will try to amend them before the World Cup. We will sit down with the technical department who have worked with us. We have to ensure Nigeria performs well at the world cup and we assure you we will do well,” he said.

Also, the team captain, Alvine Da Zossu expressed her joy at picking up the ticket while thanking Nigerians for their support.

“We are happy to book the ticket to the world cup. We were not tensed at all during the game even though we knew the Ethiopians are a good side but we are a better side. We thank all Nigerians for the support,” she said.

Similarly, the sports minister, Sunday Dare who watched the game said the future of Nigeria female football is assured with the Flamingos.

“For them to qualify, they played against a balanced team. We have seen the future of our female football and they will go places.

“I’m immensely proud of the fight you all put in today. Even though it was a tough game, you all did not fail to step up to the occasion. The grit, the heart, the fight was high up there”.

“I congratulate the entire technical crew and squad for picking up the World Cup ticket against all odds. I believe that all hands will be put on deck to help the team prepare adequately for the finals itself”, Dare said.

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