Flamingoes Coach: We’ve Gained Experience

Bala Nikyu

Bala Nikyu

–Nigeria’s women team back from U17 W/Cup

Nigeria’s U-17 women’s team coach Bala Nikyu believes that his players have gained experience from the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup despite losing 3-0 to Spain last week in the quarter final to crash out from the developmental tournament.

The players who returned to Nigeria on Saturday morning after their ambitions of winning the U-17 Women trophy was foiled by Spanish girls have also admitted they played a better side in a game that decided their fate in the tournament in Costa Rica.

The team departed Liberia, Costa Rica on Friday evening in accordance with FIFA regulations that teams that have been knocked out must depart tournament venues within 24 hours.

“Well, it was painful we lost to Spain but I want to believe that the players must have gained experience from the tournament and next they find themselves at a big stage like that, they will know how to manage the situation,” says Nikyu.

“It was a good match and I can say that Spain played good football to deserve the victory, we did our best but we could not go beyond that.

Spain, who had finished second in their group, were quick to settle and their probing runs yielded a 14th minute penalty that Patri Guijarro converted to give Spain a 1-0 lead.

It was more of the same the rest of the half, as the Flamingoes were kept on the back foot, and the score line could have been worse but for the heroics of Onyinye Okeke in goal for Nigeria.

However, the defence was breached with just 13 minutes played in the second half, when Nahikari Garcia scored the second.

Then in the 71st minute, Guijarro scored her second, and Spain’s third, when she pounced on a spilled ball by Okeke to tap in from close range.

Okeke was injured in the melee, and was raced by Fubiana Briggs after a bit of confusion from the Nigerian bench.

Spain will now join Japan, Italy and Venezuela in the semi finals.

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