NIGERIA’S Super Flamingoes have crashed out of the U17 Women’s World Cup after suffering a 0-3 loss to North Korea in their final Group C game at the Amman International Stadium in Jordan.
Ending the group stage with just one point from a barren draw with England in the second match, the Flamingoes will not qualify for the knock-out stage, having lost the opening match 0-1 to Brazil. In Nigeria’s worst ever U17 Women’s World Cup outing, the Flamingoes failed to secure a fourth consecutive quarter final appearance.
Tonight’s game was a must-win for the Flamingoes but they failed woefully as North Korea’s Ri Hae Yon scored a hat-trick to enable her team finish top of the group. She bagged a first-half double before notching her third on 83 minutes, bringing her tally to four goals in two games.
Nigeria started brightly with Rasheedat Ajibade, a menace throughout the opening 45 minutes with her blistering pace, forcing North Korean goalkeeper Ok Kum Ju to make a number of early stops. Despite early pressure from Nigeria, it was Korea who took the lead on the half-hour mark.
Ko Kyong Hui made a tackle on the halfway line and sent a long pass over the Nigeria defence, where Ri got onto the end of the bouncing ball and fired past goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie. North Korea then doubled their advantage shortly before the break through Ri’s second of the day, who capped off a well-worked team move by slotting home from close range.
Ri then completed her hat-trick on 83 minutes after receiving Kim Jong Sim’s free-kick in the area and slotting a side-footed effort past Nnadozie. With the defeat, the Flamingoes will now head home in what was their worst ever World Cup outing following good performances in 2010, 2012 and 2014.
Historically, Nigeria and Korea have met once at the U-17 level with the Flamingoes defeating their Korean counterparts 3-2. North Korea won the tournament in 2008 and are now one of the favourites to win the edition.