- The Nigerian girls lost their opening match of the tournament to the reigning European champions but claimed their pound of flesh in remarkable fashion before bidding India bye
Nigeria have won their first-ever medal at the FIFA U17 Women's World Cup after beating Germany 3-2 on penalties (3-3 at full time), in the third-place match at the DY Patil Stadium in Navi, Mumbai.
A match full of drama and highlights saw Nigeria took a three-goal lead before Germany fought back to draw level in the closing stages, only to come up short in the ensuing shootout.
The match, though, is certainly in the running to be the game of the tournament.
Germany were first to get the ball into the Nigerian net after only five minutes of play but the referee, following a VAR review, ruled the goal out for a foul on goalkeeper, Faith Omilana.
It was all the wake up call the Flamingos needed, as they began to match the Germans attack for attack. And while the Nigerian defence held strong, the attack delivered the goods in the 20th minute.
Star forward, Opeyemi Ajakaye showed good strength and pace to drive into the box, hold off her marker before slamming a shot through the German goalkeeper and into the net.
It was the first goal of the tournament for the youngster who had been the team's top scorer during qualification but had found scoring tough in India.
The Flamingos had chances to increase their lead, but efforts from Amina Bello and Miracle Usani failed to find their intended target and they went into the halftime break with a narrow advantage.
Three minutes into the second half, the Flamingos got their second of the game from a well-taken corner kick routine, with Amina Bello getting the important final touch.
Coach Bankole Olowookere sent in live-wire forward, Etim Edidiong to replace Chidera Okenwa on the hour mark. And 13 minutes later, Edidiong confirmed her super-sub tag as she headed home from another Nigerian corner, with the Germans ball watching.
Three-nil to the Flamingos in the third place match of the FIFA u17 Women's World Cup with twenty minutes left in the clock, but then the German comeback began.
Jella Viet pulled one back for the Europeans with a firm header in the 73rd minute, and two quick goals inside the final five minutes from Platiner Paulina and Loreen Bender spectacularly dragged Germany back on level terms.
The full time whistle blew with 3 goals-a-piece on the scoreboard, and the match proceeded straight to penalties where Nigeria kept their nerves to score three of their kicks against the German's two and claim the country's first podium finish at the Mundial.
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