The Falconets beat South Korea 2-0 yesterday in Saitama to go to the top of Group B after Brazil and Italy shared the points in their 1-1 draw. The national U-20 women’s team started their 2012 FIFA World Cup on a good note by winning their opening match.
The Falconets, who had camped in South Korea prior to the commencement of the World Cup, scored in each half to grab the three points. Upcoming midfielder, Ngozi Okobi of Rivers Angels scored the opener on 15 minutes while Super Falcons striker, Desire Oparanozie added the second in the second half.
The silver winners in 2010 in Germany were almost always in control of the match though the South Koreans were very crisp in their short-passing game but at the end the experience of players like Francisca Ordega, Oparanozie and Ebere Orji counted.
It was also heartening to see a motley crew of Nigerian supporters in the stadium and they were very vociferous in supporting their country-women.
Ordega created the first goal from the right flank with a low cross which onrushing Okobi could not miss.
Nigeria’s fortunes continued when the South Koreans suffered the loss of their talisman - Yeo Minji, the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup adidas Golden Ball winner, had to be substituted because of injury. Thereafter they lacked ideas and cutting edge from the middle of the park and the Falconets added a second when Orji’s cross into the box was acrobatically headed in by Oparanozie.
The Falconets had more chances but poor finishing especially on the part of Esther Sunday ensured that the match ended in the 2-0 score.