By Emmanuel Okogba
Esther Onyenezide who has been ever present and very influential in dictating the tempo of Nigeria’s midfield at the ongoing U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica grabbed a brace against Canada in the early hours of Thursday to finish the group stage as the second highest goalscorer with three goals.
Onyenezide scored two very good penalties, in the 24th and 32nd minutes of the first half, sending the goalkeeper to the wrong direction of both occasions, as the Falconets overturned a one goal deficit that came due to goalkeeping error.
The 19-year-old also scored the only goal as Nigeria overcame South Korea in the side’s second group stage game. Her ferocious strike from outside the box left the Asian side’s goalkeeper helpless.
She also won the Woman of the Match award in both games where she scored.
With just the group stage concluded, Onyenezide could continue with her goalscoring run, considering her current form, in the quarter-finals against the Netherlands and beyond, if Nigeria makes it through.
Onyenezide is now following in the footsteps of Asisat Oshoala, Cynthia Uwak and Francisca Ordega who scored more than one goal at the biennial age-grade competition. Oshoala scored a total of 7 goals at Canada 2014, Uwak got 4 goals at Russia 2006, and Francisca Ordega also got 4 goals at Japan 2012.
She comes second behind Spain’s Inma Gabarro who has four goals.