Thursday, 14 August 2014

Nigeria Beats England To U20WWC QFinals!

Loyeth Ayila and Asisat Oshoala scored in a come-from-behind victory for the African side that secured first place in the group with a 2-1-0 record and punched their ticket to the quarterfinals for a sixth consecutive U20WWC.

Even as they headed to their bus, half an hour after the match had concluded, the Nigerians were still singing and dancing.
“It’s awesome, it’s great, especially coming back,” Nigerian forward Courtney Dike said while sporting an ear-to-ear grin. “Persevering and winning, it says a lot about us. We have character and we play as a team, and that’s going to take us a very long way and I’m so happy to be here right now.”
While Nikita Parris put England ahead 1-0 in just the fifth minute, this night was destined to be a party for Nigeria. Their fans provided an atmosphere like no other supporters group had to the previous five U20WWC matches at Commonwealth Stadium.
“The moment we came out, we heard them playing their instruments and screaming and signing sand that helped so much.,” said Dike. ”They don’t know it but it helped so much.”
After England led for much of the first half, Nigeria drew level in the 41st minute, when Ayila fired a strike that rocketed past the hands of goalkeeper Elizabeth Durack. Six minutes after England’s Bethany Mead missed a penalty kick awarded in the 53rd minute, Oshoala converted a penalty kick for Nigeria to put the team in front to stay.
Nigerian coach Peter Dedevbo said he knew his team would rally for the win.
“We prepared them psychologically that when they played in a match like that they should be composed to come back, even if we are losing by two or three goals, and they came back well,” Dedevbo said. “The character in my team today, I like it, and I praise my team’s effort today.”
Nigeria will now face New Zealand in Moncton on Sunday. They are joined in advancing from Group C to the knockout stage is the Korea Republic, who defeated Mexico 2-1 in Toronto Wednesday. All teams in Group C came into the day’s matches with an opportunity to clinch a quarter-final berth. England actually could have won the group by defeating Nigeria, or potentially advanced by picking up a single point and a the Korea/Mexico match ending in a draw.
“I’m a believer that you take care of your own business,” said Marley, whose team finishes tied third in the group with a 0-2-1 record. “It’s about us, it’s about what we do, and I’m not always saying we’re going to win a game but we always set out to try and win a game and nothing really changed, even when it was 1-1 nothing changed.”

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