Almost in the similar circumstance of their first Costa Rica 2022 match with France, Nigeria’s Falconets scored a late goal that earned them the maximum points in their second match encounter with Korea in Alajuela.
The win means a third time that the Nigerian side had overcome the Asians. But more importantly, with France beating Canada in the other group match, the 1-0 defeat of Korea Republic by Nigeria means that the Falconets are in the quarter-finals already, irrespective of the outcome of their last group match with Canada on Thursday.
Like their opening match, the second match on Sunday suffered delay owing to heavy rainfall in the anticipated top of the table clash.
The Nigerian side opened the game with incessant attack on the Koreans who hitherto were group leaders on goal aggregate.
But gradually, the Asians warmed themselves into the game and caused some anxious moments in the Nigerian area.
The ding-dong continued as the game worn out. But the greatest moment came in the 83rd minute when midfielder, Esther Onyenezide’s fierce curling shot flew past Korea’s Yoonji Do for the only goal of the match.
The Falconets still have to play Canada in the early hours of Thursday, but they surely would already be looking at possible quarter-final opponents from Group D.
Cup holders Japan, The Netherlands, USA and Africa’s other flagbearers Ghana make up Group D.