he journey of Nigeria’s Flamingoes at the ongoing FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 was on Saturday cut short by their counterparts from North Korea, who beat them 3-0 at the Amman International Stadium to affirm top spot in Group C and move on to the knockout round.
With only one point and a minus one goal difference, Nigeria just needed to defeat North Korea by a two-goal margin to secure a place in the quarter-final. But in spite of a promising start to the game which would ultimately decide their fate, Bala Nikyu’s girls rather conceded two more goals than they had in their previous two games.
They had lost 1-0 to Brazil in their first game before playing out a goalless draw against England in their second group game.
“In football you must have a winner and a loser and, in the spirit of the game, if you lose, you take it,” an obviously upset, Coach Bala Nikyu stated at the post match press conference.
“Football is like that. In this same World Cup some teams have conceded five, six goals. If you conceded goals, you conceded goals. The Journey has been cut short for many teams. Many teams are leaving Jordan by Monday (Today).”
This abysmal outing of the Flamingoes with not a single goal to show, is Nigeria’s worst since the inception of the age grade tournament in 2008. They have reached the quarter-final in the last three editions.
However, coach Nikyu is more particular about the experience his girls have gathered in the few days they spent in Jordan.
“For us, it’s not about feeling bad. We have taken part in the World Cup and that is a wonderful experience. For most of the players, this was a new experience for them. A new and great experience. Next time, they can be better.”
The Flamingoes are expected back in the country on Monday (today), while Nigerians will start looking forward to the Falconets doing the country proud at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup next month in Papua New Guinea.
Uruguay will host the 6th edition of the FIFA U 17 Women’s World Cup in 2018.