Nikyu optimistic Flamingoes will make World Cup finals

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Head coach Bala Nikyu has expressed optimistic that the Flamingoes will make the finals of the ongoing Fifa Under-17 Women’s World Cup after coming from behind to defeat South Americans, Colombia 2 -1 and book their place in the last eight on Thursday morning.

Nigeria started on the back foot after Angie Rodriguez scored the game’s opening goal in the 3rd minute through a header before Joy Bokiri’s sublime free-kick restored balance for the African giants.

Luckily before the hour mark, Uchenna Kanu stole the opportunity from the Colombian’s defense error to net Nigeria’s second, while third goal failed to arrive as Ihuoma Onyebuchi’s effort come off the woodwork.

Head coach Nikyu Bala described the Nigeria’s encounter with Colombia as tough, commended his players response to ensure victory.

“It was a great match. Normally, in tournaments like this, everyone’s aim is simply to survive. And that’s what that game was like, a battle for survival. I must commend the players’ response,” he said during the post match press conference.

Nikyu, however, restated the Flamingoes’ desire to reaching their first ever final at the U17 Women’s World Cup while admitting that his players were overwhelmed by the victory against China.

“We’re hoping to keep going; the competition doesn’t end in the next round. We would like to reach the final, and why not lift the trophy?

“I don’t think we gave them enough respect at the start – we were still thinking about our win over China, and we paid for it by letting in an early goal. Fortunately we woke up in time and managed to get the victory.”

The Flamingoes have now accrued 6 points and leveled with final Group D opponent, Mexico who tops on goal difference.

Nigeria will face Mexico in a battle for the top spot of Group D by 3am on Monday morning at the 34,453 capacity-size La Sabana stadium in the capital city of Costa Rica, San Jose.