THE Flamingos, Nigeria’s U-17 women’s national team, tackle United States of America in Navi Mumbai in one of the quarter-final matches of the ongoing U-17 Women’s World Cup in India on Friday (today).
The Flamingos lost narrowly, 2-1, to another powerhouse of women’s football, Germany in their first match of the competition, but have since overcome stage-fright and were worthy 4-0 and 2-1 winners over New Zealand and Chile respectively.
Navi Mumbai, a planned ultra-modern city that is only 25km from the Indian capital city of Mumbai, is the venue for this titanic clash set for the Dr. DY Patil Stadium as from 12 noon Nigerian time on Friday.
Nigeria, who would be aiming to break their quarter-final jinx at this competition, are up against USA for the first time at this level, and this encounter is an opportunity for the West Africans to make history.
Having failed to reach the semi-finals in six previous editions, the Nigerians set out to achieve the impossible, ending the country’s 14-year wait for a last-four berth on their fourth quarter-final appearance.
The Americans will hope to reach the semis for the first time since 2008, when they finished as runners-up at the inaugural edition in New Zealand.
Meanwhile, ex-Super Falcons stars are optimistic the Flamingos can overcome the United States of America and reach the semi-finals of the U-17 Women’s World Cup in India for the first time in the team’s history.
Speaking ahead of the Flamingos’ cracker against the Americans, Chioma Ajuwa, a former footballer, a member of the Falcons squad at the inaugural Women’s World Cup in 1991, is optimistic about the Nigerians chances of reaching the last four.