Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) women committee chairperson, Alhaja Ayo Omidiran and general-secretary of the body, Dr Mohammed Sanusi have both expressed delight with the Falconets’ qualification for the quarterfinal of the FFIA U20 Women’s World Cup in France.
OmidiranandSanusi were both gleeful, after Rasheedat Ajibade’s late equaliser sent the team into the 9th edition oif the competition, following a 1-1 draw with their Chinese counterparts in Dinan/Léhon on Monday evening.
The Falconets’ top scorer in the African qualifying series tapped in at the near post in a last –gasp effort from a cross by Aishat Bello, to break Chinese hearts and shoot Africa’s most successful women’s football team at the World Cup level to their seventh berth in the knockout stages in nine editions of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals.
Zhang Linyan gave China the breakthrough they needed with a 41st minute goal, and they were on their way to the last eight until Ajibade’s strike which ensured the Falconets finished Group D in second place on goals balance from the Asians, though on same number of points (four).
While Germany finished top of the pool with maximum nine points, the Falconets will now take on Spain in the tournament quarter finals.
Sanusi, praised the ladies for their effort, adding: “The Falconets deserve commendation for the way they fought all the way to the end and got the important goal.
“The NFF is proud of their dedication, discipline and commitment, and we believe they have what it takes to overcome Spain in the quarter finals.”