FIFA U20 WWC: Nigeria off to a flyer, beat France

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Despite the torrential rain, which cause an hour’s delay and more rain Nigeria beat Europe’s top team France 1-0 in the opening match of Group C at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica on Friday morning.

The stormy conditions hindered play and 20 minutes into the game though Nigeria had been on the front foot, the Mexican Francia Gonzales Referee suspended play, after speaking with captains of the sides.

 

Eight minutes after resumption, Magnaba Folquet had to desperately head the ball away from goal as Nigeria pushed forward.
However, within two minutes as the first half wound down, Nigeria skipper Oluwatosin Demehin and France defender Kysha Sylla were cautioned – a measure of the intensity of the battle.
In the second half, both teams fought even harder. Two minutes before the hour mark, Mercy Idoko just failed to connect properly at the tail end of a sweet team move.
Twenty minutes from time, goalkeeper Oyono Omini provided a critical block in the vital area as France surged forward.
In the 72nd minute, substitute Chiamaka Okwuchukwu was hindered from getting anything positive as Flourish Sabastine got a cross into the French vital area.
The game flowed from end to end as both teams attacked with zest and defended with resolution.
Substitute Jade Nassi thought she had put France ahead when she slotted home from a goalmouth melee that followed a corner kick in the 80th minute.
But, the referee consulted the Video Assistant Referee which correctly ruled out the strike for a foul on Omini.
Five minutes later, Nigeria got the goal when Flourish Sabastine raced onto a brilliant Mercy Idoko pass, kept her composure and slotted past goalkeeper Marie-Morgane Sieber.
The Falconets’ next game is on Sunday against Korea Republic at the Estadio Alajuela Morera Soto.
Victory in that game will automatically assure Nigeria of a place in the tournament’s quarter-finals.

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