12th August, 2022
Nigeria’s under-20 National Women’s Football Team (Falconets) defeated France 1- 0 in their opening game of the ongoing FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica on Friday at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, San Jose.
Nigeria’s women, playing in group C, began their opening match with their French counterparts but after barely 32 minutes of the first half, the match was suspended due to heavy rainfall.
Centre Referee halted the match to save both teams from the bad weather.
On resumption, both teams continued from where they stopped with the Falconets showing supremacy in the game.
They dictated the pace of the match from the start and had the majority of ball possession with 52 percent as against France with 48 percent.
While both teams’ shots on goal against each other were tied, they also had one yellow card each.
On resumption in the second half, both teams struggled for the ball with Mercy Idoko trying to score for team Nigeria but the French goalkeeper frustrated her efforts in the 56th minute.
France fought well a few minutes later and netted the ball but was overruled by the referee.
In the 85th minute, Flourish Sabastine broke the deadlock with Mercy Idoko’s pass which fetched them the late winning goal.
The French girls continued to fight back but were unable to get any goal until the game closed in favor of Nigeria.
Nigeria will face South Korea on Sunday in their next match.
Falconets were paired in Group C with France, South Korea, and Canada.
Meanwhile, in another match played earlier, the U.S. Under-20 team opened its run with an emphatic 3-0 victory against Ghana.
Falconets beat Senegal 4-1 in Benin on Mar. 26 to qualify for the World Cup which will hold from Aug. 10 to 28 in Costa Rica.