Flamingos coach Bala Nikyu has expressed optimism that the team will progress to the final game of the ongoing Under-17 Women’s World Cup after seeing the Nigerians come from behind to defeat Colombia 2-1 and book their place in the quarterfinals on Thursday.
Nigeria started on the back foot after Angie Rodriguez scored the game’s opening goal in the third minute through a header before Joy Bokiri’s sublime free-kick restored balance for the African giants.
Luckily before the hour mark, Uchenna Kanu stole the opportunity from the Colombian’s defensive error to net Nigeria’s second goal.
Nikyu described the encounter as tough and commended his players’ performance in the match.
“It was a great match. Normally, in tournaments like this, everyone’s aim is simply to survive. And that’s what that game was like, a battle for survival. I commend the players’ response,” he said during the post match press conference.
Nikyu, restated the Flamingos’ desire to reach their first ever final at the U17 Women’s World Cup, while admitting that his players were overwhelmed by the victory against China.
“We hope to keep going; the competition doesn’t end in the next round. We will like to reach the final, and lift the trophy,” he said.
“I don’t think we gave Colombia enough respect at the start. We were still thinking about our win over China, and we paid for it by letting in an early goal. Fortunately, we woke up in time and managed to get the victory.”