Spain will face Italy for a berth in the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup final after the Europeans saw off Nigeria with a dominant 3-0 win, led by Patri Guijarro’s double.
The result ended a seven-match unbeaten run for Nigeria at the tournament dating back to 2012, and fell one match short of the record sequence established by Japan between 2010 and 2012. The contest was played at a good tempo throughout and was end-to-end in the first half, before the Spaniards took the game by the scruff of the neck with two second-half goals.
Guijarro converted from the penalty spot just before the quarter-hour mark after Nigeria’s Ugochi Emenayo tripped Andrea Falcon who was running into the penalty area at speed. Nahikari Garcia could easily have doubled the margin but she fired over from near the penalty spot after latching onto a ball fired into the penalty area.
Spain’s Laura Dominguez powered in a low shot that was pushed around the near post by Nigeria goalkeeper Onyinyechukwu Okeke who had been by far the busier of the two shot-stoppers. After the break the silky-skilled Dominguez set up Garcia but Okeke diffused a dangerous moment.
Spain doubled their advantage just prior to the hour mark with Dominguez once again set up Garcia this time with a through pass which saw the latter hold off a defender and beat the advancing goalkeeper.
The match went out of sight with 20 minutes remaining as a fierce strike from Sandra Hernandez from a 45-degree angle burst through the hands of Okeke, and Guijarro was there to force the ball home from close range.