Hard-fighting Falconets Bow to Spain

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UNDER-20 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP

Nigeria’s Falconets ended their campaign at the ongoing FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in France Thursday with a quarter final 2-1 defeat against Spain.

Two first-half goals from Aitana Bonmati and Patri Guijarro set the stage for La Rojita semi final berth at the Stade Guy-Piriou in Concarneau.

A second half fight back by Christopher Danjuma’s wards yielded a goal by Peace Efih but that was not enough to cancel out the advantage of the Spaniards as they held on tight till the end of the game.

Spain that made their early advantage count by breaking the deadlock before the quarter-hour mark through captain Bonmati. Her fine left-footed shot from the edge of the Nigeria box gave goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie little chance of preventing Falconets falling behind.

Bonmati nearly had a second with a free-kick that struck the underside of the Nigerian crossbar and bounced away to safety, while Eva Navarro forced a point blank save from Nnadozie moments later.

Spain eventually doubled their lead before the break, with Guijarro scoring her fifth goal of France 2018 after getting on the end of Maite Oroz’s free-kick into Nigeria’s box and scoring from close range.

Having struggled to create much in the first half, the Super Falconets responded with a goal just before the hour mark.

Efih’s forward run saw her pick out Rasheedat Ajibabe on the left. Her low shot forced a diving Catalina Coll to direct the ball into the path of an unmarked Efih, who duly converted into an empty Spanish goal.

Though they halved their deficit, Falconets were unable to find an equaliser, as Spain saw out the remainder of the contest to reach the last four of this competition for the first time.