Flamingos fly high over New Zealand, send warning signals to Chile

Flamingos fly high over New Zealand, send warning signals to Chile
GOA, INDIA - OCTOBER 14: Miracle Ofem Usani of Nigeria celebrates the second goal during FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2022 New Zealand v Nigeria at Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on October 14, 2022 in Goa, India. (Photo by Masashi Hara - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

Nigeria returned to contention at the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup on Friday with a 4-0 thrashing of New Zealand in Goa.

If the Nigerian ladies had taken greater advantage of their scoring opportunities, the final score would have been substantially higher.

The Flamingos, who nearly lost 2-1 to Germany on Tuesday, got off to a lively start and had many chances until Aminat Omowunmi Bello scored following a lovely pull-back by left-back Tumininu Adeshina.

Miracle Usani, a right-back, scored her second goal of the tournament and Nigeria’s second goal in the 34th minute to make it 2-0 in favor of Africa’s finest side at the half after her magnificent free-kick on Tuesday put Germany on the defensive.

Ajakaye, the team’s top scorer in the African qualifying campaign, headed powerfully from Adeshina’s corner on the hour mark, but the New Zealand goalkeeper punched the ball away.

Substitute Edidiong Etim and Ajakaye missed opportunities within a minute, but in the 75th minute, midfielder Taiwo Afolabi scored Nigeria’s third by swinging the ball into the top right corner from 20 yards.

Substitute Etim would have the last say with five of six additional minutes played, when she capitalized on a defensive blunder to lift the ball past the opposing keeper.

Victory gave the Flamingos three precious points, and stand them in good stead for qualification if they defeat Chile on Monday afternoon at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar.