Nigeria's Ngozi Okobi (10) celebrates after scoring her team's first goal with teammate Francisca Ordega (17) during their soccer match of the U-20 women's World Cup against South Korea at Komaba stadium in Saitama, Japan...Sunday PHOTO:AP
Nigeria's Under-20 women national team, the Falconets Sunday defeated Korea Republic 2-0 to kick start its World Cup campaign on a promising note.
Two goals in both halves from Ngozi Okobi and Desire Oparanozie secured Nigeria the maximum three points of the Group B of the on-going FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, which got underway Sunday in Japan.
Okobi got Falconets’ opener in the 15th minute from a pull out delivered by Francisca Ordega, while striker, Desire Oparanozie headed in the second in the 67th minute to the delight of fans.
Both players ply their trade with league champions, Delta Queens of Asaba.
Coach, Edwin Okon expressed delight with the outcome even though he said it was anticipated.
"Like l said before the match that victory would certainly go our direction, it has come to pass," observed an obvious delighted Okon.
But Korea Coach, Jong Songchon, blamed the loss on injuries.
"Many of our players were injured. For instance, Yeo Minji who is one of the key players was replaced in the 34th minute.
"However, I must still congratulate the Nigeria girls for taking their opportunities, but if we meet again, it will be a new strategy," he declared.
Nigeria's next match is against Brazil on Wednesday, August 22 in Saitama.
The South Americans played a 1-1 draw with Italy while Korea will face Italy.
Meanwhile, the Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission, Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, has given kudos to the Falconets, for their brilliant start of the FIFA Under-20 World Cup.
In a statement issued by the Special Assistant (Media) to the Minister, Julius Ogunro, Abdullahi described the girls as brilliant, fast and strong, adding that they displayed the typical Nigerian style with amazing dribbling skills and good ball possession.
“These girls are amazing,” the Minister said. “I urge them to do Nigeria proud by displaying this same great form in their next match against Brazil and throughout the tournament,” observed the minister in the statement.