There is no second chance after today’s encounter between Nigeria’s Flamingos and the United States (U.S.) national U-17 women football team. At stake is a semifinal ticket, which means that the winner will remain in the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup held in India, while the loser will return home.
And so, the Nigerian girls say they are in for the battle of their lives, which they believe, could alter the course of their careers if they perform well.
The girls say they foresee an interesting encounter in the game held in Navi Mumbai.
The Flamingos lost narrowly, 1-2, to another powerhouse of women’s football, Germany, in their first match of the competition, but have since overcome stage fright and were worthy 4-0 and 2-1 winners over New Zealand and Chile respectively.
Navi Mumbai, a planned ultra-modern city that is only 25 kilometres from the Indian capital city of Mumbai, is the venue for this clash set for the Dr DY Patil Stadium as from 12.00 p.m. Nigeria time today.
According to thenff.com, Nigeria, who would be aiming to break their quarterfinal jinx at this competition, are up against U.S. for the first time at this level and this encounter is an opportunity for the West Africans to make history.
Having failed to reach the semifinals in six previous editions, the Nigerians set out to achieve the impossible, ending the country’s 14-year wait for a last-four berth on their fourth quarterfinal appearance.
The Americans will hope to reach the semifinals for the first time since 2008 when they finished as runners-up at the inaugural edition in New Zealand.
Impossible is nothing, really. On July 25, 2010, in Augsburg, Nigeria’s U-20 girls, Falconets, came from behind to defeat U.S. on penalties in one of the quarterfinal matches of the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany. The match ended 1-1 and the Falconets went on to win 4-2 after a penalty shootout.