8 September 2012

Nigeria: Japan Dashes Falconets Bronze Medal Dreams

Photo: CAF Online
Nigeria's Falconets.

A goalkeeping blunder followed by a defensive error cost the Super Falconets dearly as Japan ran away 2-1 winners in the bronze medal match of the FIFA U20 Women's World Cup played Saturday morning.

Ibubeleye Whyte could only palm a long range effort by Yoko Tanaka in the 24th minute into her own net while the Nigerian defence went to sleep 26 minutes later to allow Asuka Nishikawa an easy passage to goal.

A stunning free kick by Desire Oparanozie in the 73rd minute gave the Nigerians some hope of a late fight back but the host nation held out for the bronze medal.

However, things might have turned out differently if an early free kick also taken by Oparanozie had not struck the net with the Japanese keeper truly beaten.

As in all previous matches the Falconets dominated the game, having 54 percent of the play and firing more shots, but in the end the same problem of making the domination count was to prove costly for the Africans, who won the silver medal at the last tournament in Germany two years ago.

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