Falconet Bows Out

By Akinwale Kasali

The hope of the Falconets of Nigeria to progress beyond the quarter finals stage of the Under-20 FIFA World was dashed earlier today by the Spaniards Under-20 Women national team who defeated the gallant Falconets of Nigeria 2-1.

The Nigeria’s Under-20 Women’s team crashed out of the ongoing Women’s World Cup in France having conceded two first half goals, before Peace Efih responded with a goal in the second half of the encounter.

All efforts by the Nigerian girls to equalised was dashed as the Spainish defense was equal to the task foiling all the attacks of the Falconets to book a place in the semi final of the competition.

The Falconets progressed to the quarterfinal after a draw, loss and win in their three group stage games while, Spain finished comfortably of their group after two wins and a draw.

The game started at a high pace with both sides creating chances until the Spanish side seized control of the encounter with their consistent penetrative passing of the ball from side to side working the Falconets up and down the pitch.

Spain eventually broke the deadlock in the encounter when Aitana Bonmatí Conca converted a penalty in the 13th minute.

Falconets star player Rasheedat Ajibade tried to make things happen but her shot was saved as Spain continued the possession based high pressure game.

Spain scored their second goal of the game just before the referee blew the whistle for the half, the Falconets tried to get into the game at the start of the second half, creating chances only to be stopped impressively by the Spanish.

The Falconets could not get an equalising goal to force the game to extra time as they crashed out of the competition.

The Falconets defeat means that they have been eliminated from the competition while Spain progress to the semifinals where they will face the winners of the France vs Japan quarterfinal fixture

Prior to the match, Golden Eaglets Coach Manu Garba was optimistic of the Falconets’ capability to beat their Spaniard counterparts in the quarter-finals of the ongoing FIFA U-20 Women World Cup in France. Garba, who expressed the optimism on Tuesday in Abuja in an interview said the Falconets had worked well for glory in the World Cup which they were determined to achieve.

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