U-17 Women's World Cup Q/Final: Nigeria Plot Spain's Fall

•Coach Bala Nkiyu of Nigeria

•Coach Bala Nkiyu of Nigeria

Nigeria’s Flamingoes go into the quarter final match against Spain with one thing on the back of their minds: that they must secure the semi final ticket of the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup at all costs.

Flamingoes coach Bala Nikyu has declared that he has a winning strategy in place to dismantle Spain for the semi-final ticket in the match that will be played 3 a.m. on Friday Nigerian time at the Edgardo Baltodano Stadium in Liberia.

“We would ensure that we win this game within the allotted time and we are looking at the possibility of not allowing the game to be dragged into a penalty shoot-out,” said Nikyu who further reinstated his resolve for glory.

“Yes, I agree that Spain has been making progress since they started but they won’t progress (beyond the quarterfinal) at the expense of Nigeria on Friday.”

•Getting Set ...Nigeria's U-17 women team, the Flamingoes, train before a match.  The team will face Spain in the quarter final of the U-17 Women's World Cup in Coasta Rica at 3 a.m. on Friday
•Getting Set …Nigeria’s U-17 women team, the Flamingoes, train before a match. The team will face Spain in the quarter final of the U-17 Women’s World Cup in Coasta Rica at 3 a.m. on Friday

Though sounding very optimistic that the match would be won by his glory-seeking side within the regulation time, Coach Nikyu and his assistants are not taking chances as they drill and perfect penalty kicks with the players at their last training session on Wednesday evening in Costa Rica.

The hopes of Flamingoes becoming the first African team to reach the semi-finals were dashed as they were beaten on penalties by France, who went on to lift the trophy.

“Against Spain, there won’t be any margin for errors and we are paying proper attention to everything we have done and would do for this match,” Nikyu further told the players.

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Nikyu said he is not under any pressure; rather, he has the belief that destiny already had something in store for Nigeria to win its first ever title in Costa Rica.

“Nigeria’s previous three appearances failed to yield success and we are here again in Costa Rica and I think we are destined to win this trophy,” he stated confidently.

Assistant coach Ann Chiejine says there won’t be any escape route for Spain. “The Flamingoes are different from the Super Eagles as we also have our good start in the campaign for the finals. We are very prepared and with no fear, as we are sure of winning the match,” she said confidently.

Chiejine admitted that it was a Herculean task for the Flamingoes to arrive at this stage, adding that her ladies are now toughened to withstand the rough and tumble stage of the competition.

“As I said earlier, the knockout stage is the most difficult stage of any competition but we are ready to beat Spain on Friday because our only aim of being here is to win the trophy,” noted Chiejine who was the first goalkeeper of the Super Falcons.

Assistant coach, Chiejine said as a matter of fact: “Like any team that is in the competition, we are here to win and we would try our best to beat Spain.”