Flamingos walk tight rope on Uruguay route

February 5th, 2018

Nigeriaa��s U17 girls face a herculean task in Yaounde in a fortnight after they were held to a 2-2 draw by their Cameroonian counterparts in their 2018 FIFA U-17 Womena��s World Cup final round, first leg clashA�on SaturdayA�in Benin city.

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Many football followers thought that the superlative outing of the Falconets who thrashed South Africa 6-0 to qualify for the 9thFIFA U-20 World Cup would have been the tonic the Flamingos needed to excel but they could not sustain the momentum, with their third draw in as many matches in the qualifying campaign.

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Dignitaries and spectators were hopeful when Precious Vincent put Nigeria ahead after 100 seconds with a smart finish from Osaretin Ikekhuaa��s pass. But the Lionesses drew level onlyA�eight minutes later, with a brilliant header by Marie Ngah, and then shot into the lead just before the interval through Alice Kameni.

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Ikekhua would turn scorer in the 54thA�minute, putting away a free a��kick to draw Nigeria level on the evening.

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The scoreline means the Flamingos must quickly develop a winning habit to overcome their opponents in the return leg in Yaounde in two weeksa�� time, in order to earn a ticket to the 6thA�FIFA U17 Womena��s World Cup taking place in Uruguay later this year.

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To reach the last round of qualifiers, the Flamingos drew 1-1 with Ethiopia in Addis Ababa and both teams finished the return 0-0 in Benin. The away goal earned Nigeria passage at the expense of the East Africans.

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Only a win in Yaounde, or a high score draw from 3-3, will see Nigeria sustain her reputation of playing in every edition of the FIFA U17 Womena��s World Cup since the competition was launched in New Zealand 10 years ago.

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