17th September, 2010
Nigeria and GermanyÂ crashed out of the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women World Cup in Trinidad &Â Tobago last night.
South Korean ladies stopped the hard fighting Nigerian girls in an explosive encounter thatÂ ended 6-5 in extra time. The German girls lost 0-1 to the defending champions, Korea DPR
â€œI give it to the Koreans. They have good fighting spirit.â€Â That quote was part of aÂ virtual concession speech from Nigerian coach Peter Dedevbo, after South Korea booted hisÂ Flamingoes from the World Cup.
â€œIt is not always rosy in football. Sometimes you lose when you should win. We needed toÂ keep things tighter after we went up early. We lost our concentration, made some sillyÂ mistakes and we were punished for them. We just needed to keep the ball. This is all we hadÂ to do, and we failed to do it. We gave over control of the ball to the Koreans. We were in aÂ position to control the game and we didnâ€™t. That was a big failure of our team,â€ saidÂ Dedevdo.
His Korea Republicâ€™s counterpart, Choi Duck Joo said: â€œWe went down very early by two goals.Â This made things hard for us. I knew that we could come back and that we could attack justÂ as well as the Nigerians, so we pushed forward. I am really happy with what happened todayÂ in the end because it was an interesting game that could have gone either way. Yeo Min Ji isÂ still only 80 per cent back from her injury and we have yet to see the best of her, but I amÂ happy with her four goals today. Clearly, we need to work on our defence.â€
The Nigerian tactician looked very disappointed after his team squandered a 2-0 lead theyÂ got inside the first three minutes of the encounter, taking in two goals in both halves ofÂ regulation time, and then again in the first period of extra time.
The heroine in the Asiansâ€™ â€œgreat escapeâ€ was striker Yeo Min Ji, who, according to ChoiÂ Duck Joo, was â€œ80 per cent fitâ€, but she beat Nigerian goalkeeper Amina Abu four times.Â Nigeria were on the verge of losing in regulation time anyway, that is until a KoreanÂ defensive lapse handed them a lifeline, and Ngozi Okobi took it gleefully for the AfricansÂ to tie up the scores at 4-4 after 90 minutes.
That sent the match into extra time, and before you could say â€˜fleet-footed Flamingoesâ€™, theÂ South Koreans had restored their one-goal advantage, captain Kim Areum rounding Abu after aÂ diagonal pass from the right from Lee Jungeun.
Four minutes later Yeo Min Ji followed up with her fourth item of the evening, and althoughÂ Loveth Ayila struck for Nigeria, South Korea had already done enough.
Few would have thought the Koreans could have recovered after conceding two early goals.Â Ayila stunned them in the second minute from a corner, then Winifred Eyebhoria added one forÂ good measure.
But Korea Republic rode their luck, and the early pressure, to respond in the 15th throughÂ the boot of Lee Geum Min. Eight minutes later Yeo Min Ji got into the act to tie up theÂ scores, but Okobi ensured Nigeria had the advantage at the break, finding the target in theÂ 37th.