Flamingoes Whitewash Azerbaijan


Nigeria handed a comprehensive 11-0 defeat to FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup hosts Azerbaijan, Tuesday in their Group A qualifying match played in front of a capacity crowd.

Chinwendu Ihezuo played a great part in the rout as she alone scored five goals.

It seemed Nigeria used the match to avenge an earlier 11-0 hammering of their West African neighbours, Gambia, by Korea DPR last Saturday.

Right from the blast of the whistle, the game was played almost throughout in the hosts’ half, so it was little surprise when the first goal came in the fifth minute of play.

Chinwendu Ihezuo pounced on Madel Effiom’s cross that cannoned fortuitously off the bar to tap in from a yard out.

Three minutes later it was 2-0. Oluchi Ofoegbu passed the ball within their opponents’ box to Halimatu Ayinde who beat Aytaj Sharifova in goal for Azerbaijan.

It was clear the hosts couldn’t handle Nigeria’s pace or physicality, and a third goal came when Effiom once again crossed for Ihezuo, who laid the ball off for Tessy Biahwo to fire from the edge of the box.

Ayinde then scored her second goal in the 24th minute of play followed by another goal by Ihezuo in the 32nd minute.

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Ihezuo scored again in the 37th minute.

Nigar Jalilli playing for Azerbaijan had two chances to score for the hosts, but fantastic save from an otherwise idle Gift Andy, denied the hosts those opportunities.

The rout continued in the second half when Ihezuo netting her fourth goal after Ebere Okoye’s neat through-ball.

Substitute Joy Bokiri then got in on the act, converting Ayinde’s cross to another goal in the 68th minute.

Ihezuo got her fifth in the 70th minute, rising to head Biahwo’s deep free-kick.

Biahwo herself scored in the 11th and final goal in the 74th minute in what seemed like the icing on the cake for the Flamingoes.

By Bimbo Ajayi

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