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#2022 U-20 WWC: Netherlands Defeat Falconets To Reach First Ever Semi-finals

#2022 U-20 WWC: Netherlands Defeat Falconets To Reach First Ever Semi-finals

Two first half goals by the Netherlands earned them a 2-0 win against Nigeria’s Falconets in Sunday’s quarter-finals of the 2022 FIFA U-20 women’s World Cup in Costa Rica, Completesports.com reports.

It is a first ever appearance in the semi-finals for the Netherlands at the U-20 women’s World Cup.


The last time the Falconets made it to the semi-finals was at the 2014 edition in Canada.

Victory against the Falconets means the Netherlands will take on Spain in the semi-finals.

The Falconets bossed the early part of the game and had a shout for a penalty on nine minutes after Flourish Sabastine was brought down inside the box but the referee waved play on.

But it was the Netherlands who took the lead on 12 minutes through Zera Hilswit who volleyed into the top corner after a poor clearance from Falconets skipper Blessing Demehin.

Two minutes after the opening goal Mercy Idoko went close with a header which was well handled by the Dutch keeper.

In the 16th minute Sabastine burst on the left flank and hit a good strike which the keeper palmed away for a corner.

The Falconets continued to push forward and almost equalized in 32 minutes but Deborah Abiodun’s long range effort hit the cross bar while Okuwchukwu’s follow up was tipped away for a corner.

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But in the 33rd minute it was the Netherlands who doubled their lead this time off the boots of
Ziva Henry following another poor clearance for. Demehin.

The Falconets came out more purposeful in the second half and created chances after chances but were let down by poor finishing.

Nine minutes into the second half Abiodun tried a long distance effort which was well saved by the Keeper.

On 61 minutes Abiodun connected with a header but her attempt was well handled by the opposition keeper.

The Falconets went close in the 65th minute as Sabastine made a superb run into the area but her weak effort couldn’t hurt the Netherlands keeper.

With three minutes left Rofiat Imuran sent in a delightful in swinger but Falconets player was there to capitalize.

In the 93rd minute the Falconets were awarded a penalty for handball but after VAR review the decision was overturned.

By James Agberebi

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  • Chudynak 10 months ago

    Breaking down tough defenses and creating clear-cut chances (not half chances) had been a major problem for this team. I really had hoped the coach would map out a strategy to deal with this problem but obviously he had no answer to that deficiency. A team that finds it difficult to score should at least not concede otherwise comeback becomes a mirage. it clearly showed today that the team could not come back after going behind to very good side. The team clearly had no answer to the Dutch defensive set-up

  • Dozman 10 months ago

    This tournament was so tough that both USA and Germany did not make it past the 1st round. The Falconers obviously had some tactical technical deficiencies but do not take anything away from the Dutch who were clinical in punishing the errors. Better luck next time

  • KENNETH 10 months ago

    The undoing of this team was having a good finisher. They had all the chances but couldn’t convert them. And the coach screaming from the bench was not helpful either, Didn’t allow the girls to play freely. The second half you could tell the dutch were struggling. But well this girls tried. Loved there organization. See you at the next world cup

  • This is one problem about Nigeria football fans you dont talk the problem facing this falconet team but only talk about their winning alway, right from the biggining of the tournament, we know the goalkeeper is one the issue of this team , they allowed too much space for their opponent to operate, they also have foor finishing at their opponents 18 box yard, the coach is not experience enough to correct the mistake , individual talents had been helping them sailed through , the four team left now are very tough Japan, Spain Brazil Netherlands

  • Emecco 10 months ago

    Why did the VAR not review that early penalty shout, ?? It was a clear penalty naa,

    • Chudynak 10 months ago

      @Emecco, that was the same question @Proudly9ja asked “How wasnt dat a penalty for 9ja? The dutch defender clearly brought flourish sabastine down in the box. Damn hope this referee no go rob us of dis game ooo” but @Dr. Drey said “We should learn to stop putting blames of our exits on referees. Sabastine clearly, clearly tumbled in that coming together, a tumble that didnt even need a VAR to see” (or was it another foul he was referring to?) For me, there was an obvious contact enough to warrant a VAR review and whether it would be dismissed or given was a different matter. That was robbery, daylight one at that!

  • pompei 10 months ago

    Lightning strikes for the second time.
    At the Afcon, Nigeria won all her group games, and got bundled out in the knockout round. Here we go again.
    O well, the girls tried. The Dutch were arguably not more talented, but were better organized. Organizational discipline can be the difference when 2 talented sides clash. Nigeria is often on the wrong end of results against organized, tactically adept teams, mainly because of our tactical naivety, a chronic problem that extends across every level of Nigerian football.
    The result notwithstanding, some of these girls need to be fast-tracked to the Super Falcons. There is much talent in this team. If only they can be properly nurtured.

  • Footballfanatic 10 months ago

    Serious drama going on in the France vs Japan game….. Going into penalties now

  • lets not give credit to where there is none, the girls were just unlucky today, they played better than Holland that is football, you can dominate and sometimes still loose especially if you have bad officiating.

  • The problem here is discipline as mentioned by Kenneth and pompei, however when one realised that this is and underage football and the players are learning, then its understandable. Good luck to the gorls in future hope they have learnt one thing or two.

  • To be honest, our coach shouts a lot and that confuses the girls at times. To shout is part of the game-plan but when it’s becoming too much, things will get out of hand. It will disorganize the team. Allow the girls to play with free minds at times.
    Again, the keeper has issues on her own too and I don’t know why the coach refused to try the second keeper for the third game against Canada when his team has already qualified…..
    Well, we move on, some individual talents discovered

  • Steve O 10 months ago

    That shouting was really a turn off for me !!..why shouting all the time as if you did not have a training session with the girls ?..that shouting even disoriented me as a watcher talkless of the players , is a poor tactics!!..He should have allowed the girls to use those imagination to play , unless otherwise previewed!!….again the goal keeper was not the best , she does not have the height and the Netherlands capitalized on that , finally the captain made a blunder by trapping the ball inside her eighteen yard instead of kicking it off ! Finally the attack was poor Okechukwu has no business in the attack, she has the height and everything but can’t play ..that gave them thier second goal, overall the better team won !

  • It was a wild goose chase expecting this Falconet to win the cup. A team that struggle to score even right from qualifiers. Not getting me wrong, the players are very talented especially that attacking midfielder but the coaching methods didnt emphasize the act of playing to score goals but left it only, to playing to entertain/winning possession. This is one big problem with most local coaches except for the likes of Manu Garba and most recently Nduka ugbade. Again like Pompeii rightly mentioned and from observations from over the years with Nigeria national teams, 9 out of 10 times, where we won all three of preliminary stage matches, we kinda always crash out in the quarter finals, maybe due to over confidence, tiredness, or excessive celebration of winning all three matches; something to look into.
    Then we must tread really carefully in asking that some of these falconets replace the so called aging Falcons especially in the defence department, as haven watched both sides, I can’t really pick any of the Falconet defender that is better than the so called aging Falcons but everyone can easily see the potential to be better in future. A question to ask; WHY CANT NFF GET MANU GARBA TO WORK WITH WALDRUN? THAT FALCON TEAM ONE GREY AREA, IS HOW TO FASHION OUT A SCORING METHOD AND I TRUST MANU GARBA TO PRODUCE HIGH SCORING TACTIC FOR THE FALCONS TEAM GOING INTO THE WORLD CUP.

    • Mr. Nice 10 months ago

      The problem is the coach my dear, most experience coaches after winning the first 2 games in the group stage will twerk the team for the following reasons:
      1. To rest key players for the knock out stage
      2. To try fringe players in match situation
      3. To try new tactics & formation in anticipation of the group stage opponent
      4. To confuse the opponent with different tactics, formation & players.

      But these local zombie coaches who usually go into tournaments with one pattern & who cannot change tactics in the middle of a match or competition usually get outsmarted by more experience coaches. Just take a look at how Barcelona coach xavi changed tactics in the middle of the match yesterday & how they immediately got 3 goals in almost quick succession. Football is no longer go into the pitch & express yourself, see the Netherlands’s coach analyst who was always going to meet the coach with the tactical booklet in his hand whereas our Primary school teacher will just be there shouting for 90mins…. Abegi I don tire for all these coaches jare.

      • Brodaman @ Nice, good observations. When a team starts winning games by lone goal, be rest assured, that team will 95% not win the tournament.
        Right from the early stages, I knew The English and South African girls were going to win their various tournaments, simply because they were high scoring sides. Our Olympic gold winning dream team had that same quality, which helped them turned the table against power houses like Brazil, Mexico and Argentina.
        It’s high time,NFF picked coaches with track record of haven coached teams that scored high margin of goals. Anyway that is only a wishful thinking, as the football/sport administrators have always been the reason for our sports struggling to win tournaments. WILL THERE BE A CHANGE? HOPEFULLY THERE WILL SOON.

  • Mr. Nice 10 months ago

    The problem with this team is very simple… Technical deficiency. Right from the first game the problem was noticed & it beats my imagination how the coach failed to fix the problem. The players knows how to get to the opponents area with their blistering speed but what happens next.. They fire from any angle whereas a simple pass to a free person would have at least provided a scoring opportunity… The most guilty of this was that amateur striker flourish sabastine & to keep her on the pitch for 90mins only goes to show how inept the coach was. Once again let us always advocate for competent coaches for all our national teams, putting these wonderful talents in the hands of local coaches is really not fair.

    • Chudynak 10 months ago

      Thanks @Mr Nice. These were exactly my thoughts in my post on another platform. I do not hold brief for the coach but I think it was also a tactical decision to leave Sabastine on the pitch for as long to cause those dangerous incursions into the vital area of opponents to see if a penalty situation could arise from them. To me Flourish had good runs but was let down by poor decision on what to do with the ball hence those poor shots. You would also agree that her run in the opening minutes could have earned us a penalty as I strongly believe the referee was wrong not to have reviewed that tackle against her because from replays, I could see there was actually a contact….

  • Oakfield 10 months ago

    Well, i saw this coming when the team was basking in the euphoria of winning their group matches. They seemed to not focus on their weakness which came to bear in their second and 3rd group games. They seemed lost in the final 3rd. Running out of ideas on what to do with the ball when they found themselves in the final third. On some many occasions, Sebastian had the opportunity to square the ball on the bi-line to her fellow team mates in the box but she decided to selfishly go solo whilst wasting good scoring opportunities. The major work of a winger in football is to make those necessary runs on the flanks and then finish up the job with a cross into the box to the already waiting strikers for proper finishing. Why didn’t the technical unit of the team do something about this deficiency earlier on when it was spotted? Were they busy telling them to just go there and express themselves like our mr chief technical adviser did to us when we cruised out of the group stages of afcon? I mentioned earlier that for them to progress from the quarter finals stage, they needed to be more precise and objective with their finishing in the final 3rd bcs the competition gets tougher as you progress from the group stage. Why was our defender romancing with the ball in the 18 yard box , with her back against her opposition and her front facing our goal post? Why couldn’t she just clear the ball right away to the stands? I hope lessons have been learnt where necessary to guard us against the future. The gals played well but at the end, it is results that matter and not really how well a team played. It is better to play a wack boring pattern and win games than play like Brazil and lose. History would only record winners of games and not losers who played down the sun. We would have been at the world cup if we had applied this principle that got us through the group stages of the world cup qualifiers but some stupid idiots felt otherwise. They preffered playing tiki taka football to getting results when it mattered most. Do not know why we never learn from history .

    • Chudynak 10 months ago

      Another good comment bro. Identified errors are meant to be corrected and not ignored. It’s a pity we have been made to learn the hard way, that is if we have actually learnt anything…..

  • This match is a replica of Nigeria Vs Tunisia match in AFCON. Isn’t it better to conserve your till when it’s matter most? Lost to a team to struggle to qualify for next round.