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‘If this is a dream, don’t wake us up’; Flamingos dream best ever World Cup outing



The Flamingos during their final training session ahead of the semi-final clash with Colombia

Nigeria’s U17 girls, Flamingos have never reached the final of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

But now, the doors are invitingly opened for them to put their names in the record books.

A win over Colombia in what has become a trilogy will see them featuring in the final. In previous two encounters, they had beaten the South Americans 3-0 in 2012 and 2-1 in 2014.

They dream a continuation of winning streak against Colombia.

According to a release from the NFF, the players have already pulled up a few trees,  but they feel even more motivated to reach the Championship Match at the expense of Colombia whom they play in the first semi-final on Wednesday.

President of NFF, Ibrahim Musa Gusau on Tuesday arrived in the Indian city of Goa, where he will lead the cheers as Africa’s best team seeks to extend their FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup record by reaching Sunday’s final.


Already, the Flamingos have become the first African team to reach the semi finals of the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, after ejecting the United States in sensational fashion on Friday.

It can be recalled that Nigeria is also the only African country to have played in the Final of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup.

The first time was in Germany in 2010, when the Falconets lost 0-2 to Germany after an early goal by Player of the Tournament Alexander Popp and an unfortunate own goal by defender Osinachi Ohale in Bielefeld.

The second time was in Canada in 2014, when the Germans again prevailed by the odd goal after extra time in Montreal.

On Wednesday, history-making Coach Bankole Olowookere will again bank on goalkeeper Faith Omilana, defenders Miracle Usani, Tumininu Adeshina, Comfort Folorunsho and Blessing Emmanuel, midfielders Taiwo Afolabi, Alvine Dah-Zossu and Blessing Sunday, and forwards Opeyemi Ajakaye, Edidiong Etim and Aminat Omowunmi Bello.


The Flamingos’s fire-power is not in doubt, having scored a total of eight goals in open play, conceding four. They have put a total of 36 shots on target, making them the side that has created the most opportunities of the four teams left in the competition.

Wednesday’s encounter starts at 12 noon Nigeria time.   

Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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