Nigeria’s national under-17 female football team, the Flamingoes, were dominant as they trounced their counterparts from Guinea 5-1 at the Agege Stadium in Lagos at the weekend.
Victory helped them to reach the final round of the African qualifying series for this year’s FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup, after an 11-2 aggregate win.
No surprises were expected from the match, following Flamingos’ 6-1 demolition of the Guineans on their home ground in Conakry a week ago.
It looked like a similar scoreline was in the offing as the home girls easily created scoring chance after chance.
But they fluffed so many of them, with Oluwayemisi Samuel and Taiwo Lawal the biggest culprits.
Samuel’s feeble shot could not trouble goalkeeper Haidara Cherif in the 16th minute, then Lawal with only the goalkeeper to beat missed chances in the 17th and 20th minutes.
Binta Conte fired over Nelly Ekeh’s goal at the other end.
But in the 28th minute, Rofiat Imuran, who netted a hat-trick in the 6-1 defeat of the Guineans in Conakry, outpaced the visitors’ defence.
She coolly picked her spot and slotted in the first goal of the day.
On the half hour, Samuel lifted the ball too high as the Flamingos rushed forward again.
But Taiwo Lawal scored in the 34th and 42nd minutes to make it a comfortable 3-0 lead for Nigeria at half-time.
In the second half, Nigeria again missed a hatful of chances, instead allowing Guinea to pull one goal back from the penalty kick spot in the 84th minute.
The goal came through Fatoumata Diallo after Oluwabunmi Oladeji handled in the penalty box.
However, there was still time for two more goals for the Flamingos, as substitute Alvine Dah-Zossu beat the visitors’ offside trap in the 86th minute.
She then beat Haidara Cherif to slot into an empty net.
Chinyere Kalu, who also scored in Conakry, wrapped up a good day’s job for the Nigerians with the goal of the day.
She heaved the ball past Cherif on the stroke of time from a 22-yard free kick.
Having qualified 11-2 on aggregate, the Flamingos will now clash with their Ghanaian counterparts in the final round of the series.
Tidesports source reports that Ghana also whipped Liberia 10-0 on aggregate.
The first leg match of the Nigeria/Ghana pairing will hold in Accra in the first week of May.
Aisha Buhari Cup: FIFA, CAF Presidents Grace Kick-Off, Falcons Win 2-0
Substitute Gift Monday handed Nigeria a sweet 2-0 victory on the opening day of the maiden edition of the Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Tournament in the City of Lagos.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State led eminent political big-wigs, and FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and CAF President, Patrice Motsepe led football’s top echelon, including President of NFF and FIFA council member, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, to the showpiece at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan.
Monday, interestingly a player of FC Robo Queens of Lagos, spurned in the air to meet a cross by Captain Asisat Oshoala in the 83rd minute and nodded past goalkeeper Fatoumata Karenta, six minutes after coming into the fray for Francisca Ordega.
The goal put the Super Falcons in the lead after a rather turgid day on Lagos island, with the Malians showing greater zest and desire in the opening half and returning after the recess with the same impressive fighting spirit.
The visiting Female Eagles had survived a raid on their area in the 5th minute as Nigeria looked to go into the lead with a corner, but the defence cleared. Nine minutes later, Ordega sidenetted from another quick dash upfront, and in the 18th minute, Ageusissa Diarra tested Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie from a 30-yard free-kick.
In the second half, Uchenna Kanu sidenetted in the 67th minute, before Oshoala, who should have scored with only the goalkeeper to beat, failed to get past Karenta. In the 74th minute, Karenta again saved from Kanu.
In the 83rd minute, Monday rose highest in the box and nodded past Karenta, bringing so much excitement to the arena.
One minute into added time, Monday was again at the end of an Asisat’s assist, and looped the ball over an advancing Karenta to put huge smiles on the faces of Nigerians.
Enyimba Appoints Finidi George As Head Coach
The former Ajax and Real Betis winger, George Finidi, who replaces Fatai Osho whose contract expired at the end of August, has joined the eight-time Nigerian champions, Enyimba FC, on a two-year contract.
George, a legend of Nigeria’s men’s senior national team, made 62 appearances for the Super Eagles in an illustrious playing career that lasted up to fifteen years.
He was a key member of the glorious era that won the Africa Cup of Nations in 1994 and represented the country at two FIFA World Cups, the 1994 and 1998 editions.
Tidesports source reports that at club level, George won the UEFA Champions League with Ajax in 1995 and went on to play for Real Betis, RCD Mallorca, and Ipswich Town.
His first official game as Enyimba head coach will be the CAF Confederation Cup’s second preliminary round fixture against Senegalese side, Diambers FC in mid-October.
Speaking to Enyimba’s media immediately after putting pen to paper, George said, “I have to say it’s a great opportunity for the club to have this confidence in me.
“I want to thank the chairman, the members of the board, and the supporters for even thinking about me. On my own part, I will be here to just work and do the job. It’s never going to be easy but I’m here to work and make the team win.”
Chairman of Enyimba, Felix Anyansi Agwu, stated that the arrival of George represents a new chapter for the club.
“I believe that the time has come for us as a club to open up a new chapter, a chapter that will showcase the many hardwork that has been going on behind the scene and usher in lots of success.
“For us to have engaged a coach like Finidi George who is coming from Europe is a clear statement of intent about our aspirations,” Agwu said.
Arteta Sees Light For Arsenal
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says he sees a bright future for the club despite suffering their worst start to a season for 67 years.
The Gunners climbed off the bottom of the Premier League table with their first goal and first points of the campaign by beating Norwich 1-0 last weekend.
However, Arteta’s position is still under scrutiny ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Burnley after spending £150 million ($207 million) on new players during the transfer window.
The Spaniard claimed after beating Norwich he had enjoyed the “best 10 days of his career in this industry” during an international break when his side was rock bottom of the table.
And Arteta was equally optimistic on where Arsenal are headed with all six of his summer signings aged 23 or under.
“I’m telling you I’m very positive most of the time. I’ve seen the light and I can see bright lights,” he said at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.
“There can be bumps in the road within that light, but I can see a lot of light.”
Arteta is also hopeful the criticism his squad suffered after defeats to Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City will only serve to make them stronger.
“It’s tough because it hurts, because you want to see something different. But what you want is not always what happens,” he added.
“Things happen for a reason and maybe what is happening had to happen and it’s going to be really good for the club and really good for myself and everybody experiencing that situation. We have to believe that.”
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