U-17 Women W/Cup Qualifier: Ethiopia Hold Flamingos To Draw In Addis Ababa
Nigeria’s U-17 women national team the Flamingos were held to 1-1 draw by their Ethiopian counterpart in the in the second round, first leg of a 2018 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup qualifying fixture. at the Addis Ababa Stadium on Sunday.
Nigeria opened scoring through Bayelsa Queens youngster Joy Jerry less than 20 minutes into the game, before Tarikow Debiso leveled scores for the home side in the 63rd minute to end the game 1-1 at full time.
The cold affected the Flamingos even more in the second half, and in the 62nd minute, the Ethiopians achieved parity with a free–kick from 35 metres that surprisingly beat goalkeeper and captain Christian Obia.
“The weather did not help matters. Even us adults were uncomfortable; you can imagine what the young ladies were going through on the pitch. Most of them had never gone beyond the shores of Nigeria or experience this kind of climate before,” Abdulrafiu Yusuf, former Nigerian international and NFF’s Assistant Director (Technical), told thenff.com at the end of the encounter.
Coach Bala Nikyu started the match with Christiana Obia, Omowunmi Oshobukola, Onyinyechi Christopher, Favour Emmanuel, Esther Momoh, Fehintola Mabokanje, Yetunde Fajobi, Grace Aondoseer, Martha Vincent, Esther Onyenezide and Joy Jerry. On the substitutes’ bench were goalkeeper Omini Oyono, Mercy Idoko, Oluchi Nnadi, Patricia Innocent, Tarnum Dooshima, Abibat Abdulgodir and Victoria Bassey.
Nikyu said: “The weather did not help but I don’t like to give excuses for my team’s performance. We have to work very hard when we return to Nigeria, ahead of the return leg. We must be more potent in attack and find a way to curtail the Ethiopians.”
The Flamingos’ delegation, led by former NFF Board Member, ranking member of the House of Representatives and Chairman of the NFF Women’s Football Committee, Hon. Ayo Omidiran will return to Nigeria on Monday.
The return leg comes up at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City on Saturday, 16th December 2017, with the winner on aggregate to take on the winner of the Cameroon/Algeria fixture in the second and final round of the series. Cameroon defeated Algeria 4-0 away in Algiers on Friday.
The 6th FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup finals will hold in Uruguay 20th November– 13th December 2018. Nigeria’s Flamingos have been an ever– present at the competition since it was launched in New Zealand in 2008.
21: Ethiopia 0 Nigeria 1. Joy Jerry puts Nigeria ahead at the Addis Ababa Stadium.
62′ Goal Alert. Ethiopia 1-1 Nigeria