Nigeria Advance to Semifinal in Women’s U-17 Football World Cup

By: Gyang Dakwo

Nigeria beat USA 4-3 in a penalty shootout to become only the second African country to qualify for the FIFA Women’s Under-17 World Cup semifinals on Friday.

The two sides were locked 1-1 in the regulation time of the quarterfinal match at the DY Patil Stadium, which was delayed by nearly two hours due to adverse weather conditions. 

In an evenly-contested match, Nigerian Omamuzo Edafe’s 27th-minute goal was canceled out by Amalia Villarreal’s 40th-minute strike for the Americans.

In the penalty shootout, Edidiong Etim, Edet Offiong, Miracle Usani, and Omamuzo Edafe scored for Nigeria while Folorunsho missed the target.

For the USA, who had topped Group A to make it to the quarterfinals, Emeri Adames, Taylor Suarez, and Mia Bhuta scored, while Emri and Jackson missed from the penalty spot.

With the win, Nigeria made it to their maiden semifinal in their sixth attempt. The African champions had earlier lost thrice in the quarterfinals — in 2010, 2012, and 2014.

Ghana was the only African country to have made it to the semifinals — in 2012 — before Nigeria achieved the feat on Friday.

Nigeria had finished second behind Germany in Group B.

The Flamingos will now take on the winner of the encounter between Colombia and Tanzania in the semi-finals.