Falconets exit Women’s World Cup following defeat to Netherlands

Nigeria was eliminated from the FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup on Sunday after losing to the Netherlands 2-0.

At their quarterfinal match in Alajuela, Costa Rica, the Falconets were unable to duplicate earlier round results in which they won all three of their games during the group phase.

In Nigeria’s Group C opening match against France, Flourish Sabastine, who had scored the game-winning goal, was unable to capitalize in the seventh minute.

However, the Dutch took the lead just four minutes later when Zera Hulswit outmuscled Omini Oyono and hammered in a perfect dipping shot.

In the fifteenth minute, Sabastine once more got away and unleashed, but Claire Dinkla, who was outstanding in goal, deflected the ball.

Deborah Abiodun nearly gave Nigeria the equalizer that their efforts deserved on the half-hour when she seized the ball as the Dutch defense became disorganized.

But Chiamaka Okwuchukwu deflected her sinking attempt from 25 meters away after it rattled the crossbar.

Three minutes later, the Dutch increased their lead by two after making another right-side break.

Jerry, who came on as a substitute for Joy, came within a whisker of equalizing when her head met the ball from Rofiat Imuran’s cross in the 62nd minute, but the ball sailed away.

In the second minute of extra time, as Nigeria pushed forward, a Dutch defender handled the ball in the box.

However, Costa Rican official Marianela Araya reversed her original decision to give a penalty kick after speaking with the Video Assistant Referee.

The Netherlands will now meet Spain on Thursday in the first semi-final fixture, after the European side beat Mexico 1-0 in the first quarter-final match on Saturday.

Brazil, who also won 1-0 against Colombia on Saturday in the second quarter-final match, await the winners of the fourth quarter-final match fixture between defending champions Japan and France.

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