In their opening match of the 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica on Friday at Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, San Jose, Nigeria’s National Women’s Football Team (Falconets) defeated France 1-0.
The women from Nigeria, who are in group C, kicked off their first match against their French opponents. However, 32 minutes into the first half, the match was called off due to heavy rain.
When play resumed, the Falconets controlled the game’s tempo from the outset and held a majority of ball possession (52%) compared to France’s (48%).
Both sides had one yellow card each, while their shots on goal against one another were tied.
After the break, both teams fought for possession of the ball as Mercy Idoko attempted to score for the Nigerian squad, but the French goalkeeper foiled her in the 56th minute.
Chaimaka Okwuchukwu, who had just entered the game, nearly had an immediate effect in the 72nd minute but was unable to connect with Sabastine’s pass into the box before goalkeeper Petiteau picked up the ball.
Nassi believed she had given France the lead in the 79th minute, but the goal was disallowed for offside after a VAR review by referee Gonzalez.
A feed from Mercy Idoko to Flourish Sabastine in the 85th minute broke the tie and helped them score the game’s final goal.
The French women fought back but were unsuccessful in scoring till the game ended in Nigeria’s favour.
Feeling elated by the win, Sabastine wrote on Twitter: ”What a game! What a win!What a way to begin #CostaRica2022. Thanks so much Nigerians 🇳🇬 for the support through the night. 💪🏿 💚“
Nigeria’s next game is on Sunday against South Korea. In Group C, falconets were matched with France, South Korea, and Canada.
On March 26, Falconets defeated Senegal 4-1 in Benin to earn a spot in the World Cup, which will be hosted in Costa Rica from August 10 to 28.