France 2018: Nigeria Falconets beaten in World Cup opener as Germany hoodoo continues

Nigeria’s U20 girls, Falconets, battled hard but once more, were unable to break the German jinx as they lost 0-1 to the 2010 and 2014 champions in the opening game of Group D of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Saint Malo on Monday.

Stefanie Sanders was gifted acres of space in the six –yard area to slam into the net from a corner kick even after inspired goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie had made two consecutive saves.

The Falconets, runners-up in 2010 and 2014 and semi finalists in 2012, had their own opportunities to get on the scoresheet but Anam Imo and Peace Efih were somewhat unlucky. Victory shot the Germans top of the Group D table ahead of the clash between Haiti and China.

The Falconets turned out in Nigeria’s new NIKE outfits and fought hard and confidently on the turf of Stade de Marville. Germany pushed hard and relentlessly in the opening half, but could find no breakthrough as a brilliant Nnadozie, with defenders Glory Ogbonna, Oluwakemi Famuditi and Sunday Opeyemi, kept things tight at the rear.

Nigeria should have levelled three minutes after the Germans shot ahead, but Peace Efih’s swerving shot rocked the upright with the goalkeeper stranded.

Next up for the Falconets is an encounter with their Haitian counterparts, at the same venue on Thursday, before another potentially –explosive encounter with China in Dinan/Léhon on Monday next week.

A second-half strike by Stefanie Sanders gave Germany a 1-0 victory over Nigeria in their opening Group D match at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 in Saint-Malo on Monday.

A goalless first half produced little between two sides who previously contested the final of this competition in 2010 and 2014. Germany made a bright start at the Stade de Marville, but Nigeria looked more confident in the latter stages of the opening period.

The contest came to life after the break, with the decisive moment occurring on 69 minutes when the Europeans claimed the lead following a corner and resulting header that struck the crossbar. The loose ball fell to Sanders, who knocked home from close range to put the Germans in front.

Nigeria replied positively to falling behind and were unlucky not to level matters just three minutes later. A free-kick into the Germany box saw the ball fall to Peace Efih, whose swerving strike hit the post and bounced away to safety.

Head coach Peter Dedevbo called up 30 players ahead of for the African Fifa U20 Women’s World Cup qualifier.

The roster was trimmed down to 18 for the qualifier game against Congo featuring 17 local based players and 1 internationally based player.

The 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup is the ongoing 9th edition of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, the biennial international women’s youth football championship contested by the under-20 national teams of the member associations of FIFA, since its inception in 2002 as the FIFA U-19 Women’s World Championship (age limit was raised from 19 to 20 in 2006).

The tournament is held in France between 5 and 24 August 2018, who will also host the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup a year later. Haiti and Netherlands will make their U-20 Women’s World Cup debut. North Korea are the defending champions.

On 6 March 2014, FIFA announced that bidding had begun for the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup. Member associations interested in hosting must submit a declaration of interest by 15 April 2014, and provide the complete set of bidding documents by 31 October 2014. The FIFA Executive Committee would select the hosts in 2015. In principle, FIFA preferred the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup to be hosted by the same member association, but if circumstances required, FIFA reserved the right to award the hosting of the events separately.

The following countries made official bids for hosting the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup by submitting their documents by 31 October 2014.