By Johnny Edward:
Nigeria’s Falconets will face Spain for the second time in the history of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup when both teams battle for a spot in the semi-finals of the ongoing competition in France at the Stade Guy Piriou, Concarneau on today (Thursday), reports Completesportsnigeria.com.
A nervy 1-1 draw in their final Group D game against China saw the Falconets book their place in the quarter-finals of the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France.
Nigeria lost to Germany 1-0 in their opening game, defeated Haiti 1-0 and needed a late own goal by China right-back, Jiaxing Dou to force a 1-1 draw in their last Group D encounter on Monday and booked their place in the knockout stages.
Paul Danjuma’s side face European champions, Spain who topped Group C with seven points. Kickoff is 3pm Nigerian time.
The Spanish U-20 women side started off its World Cup run on a hot streak. In their first game, a hat trick from Patricia Guijarro led the Spanish past Paraguay 4-1.
La Rojita edged a gritty Japanese side 1-0 in its second game thanks to a 16th-minute game-winner from Carmen Menayo. Having qualified for the quarter-finals, Spain were held to a 2-2 draw by USA in their final group game.
The Falconets defeated Spain 2-1 at the last edition of the tournament in Papua New Guinea and will be hoping they can replicate another victory like they did two years ago.
But they will have to do that without Opeyemi Sunday who has been ruled out of the game due to suspension. The Sunshine Queens defender has been outstanding for Danjuma’s side at the tournament.
The Spanish side thas scored seven goals in three games.
They have equaled their best finish at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup reaching the quarter-finals and will be desperate to make history reaching the semi-finals for the first time in their history.
The Falconets on their part, have won two silver medals at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup (Germany 2010 and Canada 2014), bronze once (Japan 2012), and have reached the quarter finals in Thailand (2004), Russia (2006) and Chile (2008).
A win over Spain will see the Danjuma’s side reach the semi-finals for a fourth time since their debut appearance.