The present Nigerian Women Under 17 National Football Team has set a new record by being the first Nigerian team to qualify for the semifinals of this competition after beating powerhouses USA 4-3 on penalties.
The match was initially put on hold due to adverse weather conditions but after about an hour, the rain mellowed down and the thunder was calm enough to start footballing activities.
At the start of the game, both teams were playing end to end football and creating chances to break the deadlock.
However, the deadlock wasn’t broken until Edafe fired flamingos in front from the spot after Amina Bello was fouled inside the box.
With Nigeria in front, Americans piled pressure on the Nigerian defense but Omolina was up to the task at the goal post.
In the 40th minute, USA scored their equalizer when a strike from Villarreal deflected off Folorunsho into the net.
In the second half, both teams proceeded with their end to end attacking football and in the 86th minute, Usani cleared the ball of the line to keep Nigeria in the game.
Deep into added time, Coach Olowookere made a tactical substitution by removing the first choice goalkeeper Faith Omilana for the penalty specialist Linda Jiwuaku while also removing injured Amina Bello for Offing Immaculate.
The game went on to penalties with USA missing twice, one over the crossbar and the other saved by Linda. Nigeria only missed one penalty which was played by Folorunsho.
The game ended 4-3 in favour of the Flamingos as they become the first set to reach the semifinals stage of this competition, thereby fulfilling Coach Bankole Olowookere’s promise.