March 20, 2014

U17 World Cup: Nigeria beat Colombia, book quarter final ticket

U17 World Cup: Nigeria beat Colombia, book quarter final ticket

ALAJUELA, COSTA RICA – MARCH 16: The team of Nigeria celebrate after the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2014 group D match between China and Nigeria at Alejandro Morera Soto Scotiabank on March 16, 2014 in Alajuela, Costa Rica. (Photo FIFA/FIFA

Nigeria scored a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over a gallant Colombia to earn a quarter-final berth alongside Mexico and at the same time end the hopes of the South Americans.

Needing all three points to stay alive in Group D, Colombia burst out of the blocks with a third minute goal as Angie Rodriguez looped a header from a perfect Nancy Acosta cross over the head of stranded goalkeeper Onyinyechukwu Okeke.

Nigeria drew level just past the midway point of the opening half with Joy Bokiri curling in a perfectly flighted free-kick from the edge of the penalty area.

Nigeria took the lead for the first time approaching the hour mark as some sloppy marking from a corner allowed the tall figure of Uchenna Kanu to nod the ball in unchallenged at the back post.

Midfielder Ihuoma Onyebuchi then rattled the Colombia crossbar with a first time strike from distance with the South Americans increasingly on the back foot.

Colombia goalkeeper Monica Florez memorably pulled off four successive blocks during one almighty goalmouth scramble as they desperately hung on.

The win leaves Nigeria sharing top spot with Mexico, while Colombia will now tackle China PR with each seeking their maiden points of the competition.