By Harry Awurumibe
Misfiring Nigeria’s Falconets crashed out of the 10th FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup after losing 2-0 to The Netherlands on a frustrating night that exposed the technical limitations of the team and a bit of hard luck, Prompt News Online reports
Two first half goals scored by Zera Hulswit (11′) and Ziva Caroline Henry (33′) ensured that Netherlands beat Nigeria 2-0 in the quarter final match in the early hours of Monday at Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto, Alajuela, Costa Rica.
The African flagbearers have started like a house on fire, with Falconets’ arrowheads Esther Onyenezide, Flourish Sebastine, Vera Okwuchukwu and Blessing Idoko raiding the Dutch goal area but it was Netherlands that scored the goals.
Statistics at half time showed that Nigeria had five shots on goal, hit the woodwork once but it was Netherlands with only two shots on goal that scored two goals.
From hitting the crossbar to dominating the entire proceeding and playing virtually the entire second period in the half of the Europeans, the Falconets could not manage to convert the numerous chances that came begging.
For some strange reasons, it seemed everyone who wanted to score thought of doing it from a long range – an effort that didn’t yield the intended outcome.
Even the glimmer of hope that came deep in stoppage time in form of a penalty was overturned after a VAR review to sum up Nigeria’s miserable night and to make clear the side luck chose to favour.
The lucky Dutch side who were second best in every aspect will match on to face Spain in the semi-final.
The result of the match showed that the Netherlands’ Head Coach Jessica Torny studied the Nigerian team very well and came out with a perfect tactics of ‘Smash and Grab’ to get their goals in the first half to avoid a late surge of the Nigerians who defeated France and Korea Republic in the group stage with late goals.