Nigeria’s Falconets battle the Netherlands for semi-final spot| U20 Women’s World Cup

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By Morris Rawal

As the ongoing FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica reaches a critical juncture, all is now set for the quarterfinal match between the explosive Nigerian Falconets and Netherland U-20 Women’s side.

The outcome of the predicted explosive match will be decided at the Estadio Alajuela Morera Soto, the same location where the Falconets defeated the Korean Republic and Canada

The Falconets will be the clear favorites in this year’s U20 Women’s World Cup based on their past performances in similar tournaments.

Nigeria has been in the final twice in the 20-year history of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup, losing both times to Germany, once in Germany (12 years ago) and once in Canada (8 years ago).

Ten years prior, the Falconets advanced to the semifinals in Japan in between.

The Dutch Ladies, known as the Oranje, cannot be claimed to have the same level of experience, having only participated in this competition once in 2018, when they reached the quarterfinals.

The Falconets coach Chris Danjuma Musa correctly acknowledges that the Dutch women make up for their lack of experience with polish and delicacy throughout their team.

Although the Falconets coach has a full roster to pick from for the game against the Netherlands, his players must maintain the strict discipline to prevent being depleted for the likely semi-final match against Spain.

As they are only one card away from suspension, crucial players like Blessing Demehin, Jumoke Alani, Chioma Olise, and Esther Onyenezide must all avoid getting booked in order to be available if Nigeria advances to the semi-final.

However, the pacy Flourish Sabastine and Blessing Okpe are likely to start as the Falconets look for an early goal. Onyenezide, who has three goals in the competition, is expected to again be the driving force of the Nigerian game going forward.

In the midfield section, the trio of Mercy Idoko, Deborah Abiodun, and Bashirat Amoo are the obvious first choices except for tactical decisions by the coach.

Goalkeeper Omini Oyono is expected to be at her best as she is protected by captain Oluwatosin Demehin, Jumoke Alani, Omowumi Oshobukola, and Rofiat Imuran at the rear.

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