Celebration after Nigeria’s Flamingos beats Germany to get the bronze medal in the final of the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in India.
Flamingos of Nigeria on Sunday won bronze at the Under-17 Women World Cup in India after beating Germany 3-2 on penalties.
Nigeria began the match in good stead and were rewarded when forward Opeyemi Ajakaye broke her goal drought with her brilliant 20th-minute opener for the Flamingos.
The game stayed that way for the first half but the Nigerians doubled the lead three minutes into the second half of the clash via an Aminat Bello strike.
Coach Olowookere Bankole’s girls then made it three when Etim Edidiong found the back of the net in the 63rd minute.
The Flamingos continued the second half from where they left off in the first period and were more fortunate this time, as Aminat Omowunmi Bello headed powerfully into the net from defender Miracle Usani’s corner kick in the 48th minute.
Germany, staring at annihilation, fought back gamely and reduced the scoreline in the 73rd minute when Veit Jella, pulled one back.
Five minutes later, Ajakaye had an opportunity to make it 4-1 but faltered and Paulina Platiner made it 3-2 with five minutes to go and on the dot of 90 minutes, Loreen Bender tied the scoreline to compel a third penalty shootout for the Flamingos in the knockout phase of the tournament.
Defender Tumininu Adeshina missed but it did not matter as Pauliner Bartz missed a crucial kick for Germany.
Victory made it a joyous Sunday for Nigeria, and history-making Coach Bankole Olowookere said: “I am a very happy man that we did not leave India empty-handed.
“It has been a great tournament with a lot of lessons learnt. We give God the glory”.
President of the NFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau, who has been with the team in India since the quarter-final stage, was delighted with the triumph.
“This is a victory for the Government and good people of Nigeria. The girls and their technical administrative crew did very well to win something from this tournament and give Nigeria joy. I commend their determination and commitment to a noble goal,” he said.
Meanwhile, the victorious Flamingos will fly back into Nigeria at noon on Tuesday.
Writing by Julian Osamoto