The Falconets have qualified into the quarter finals of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in France after playing out a 1-1 draw with China.
China went ahead four minutes to half time by Linyan Zhang after she caught the defence unawares before applying an exquisite finish.
The Nigerian girls started on a strong note in the opening exchanges of the match but could not penetrate the tight Chinese defence.
The Falconets’ best chance in the half was brilliantly saved by goalkeeper Xu after a side-footed shot from Chidima Okeke was parried into the corner.
However the Asians got back into the match as they pressed forward and created lots of opportunities in the process.
A shot from left-winger Shen rattled the cross-bar after making her way through the Nigerian defence in the 25th minute. But the Chinese team deservedly got into the lead in the 41st minute as Zhang took on two defenders before sending the keeper the wrong way to make it 1-0.
The Nigerian U-20 knew only a draw will put them into the next stage of the competition as they came out smoking in the second half. Captain of the side Ajibade was closely marked as the Christopher Musa girls could not find a way past their opponents.
China were resolute in defence and hit the team on the counter-attack but also wasted chances that came their way.
Patience Efih had a chance in the 75th minute but her right-footed shot did not trouble the goalkeeper. W.ang should have made it 2-0 to China in the 87th minute but an acrobatic save from Chiedozie kept Nigerian in the match.
Then the moment of the match came as Ajibade met a well delivered cross from the rignt to send Nigerian into the quarter finals.