Nigeria’s U17 girls, Flamingoes lost 0-1 to their Brazilian counterparts in the opening match of Group C of the 5th FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in Amman on Saturday.
Showing little of the great pace and technical savvy that saw them score 16 goals and conceding none in their four African qualifying games against Namibia and South Africa, the Flamingoes were a shadow of themselves at the King Abdullah II International Stadium.
Arit Itu headed a free kick from the left over the bar and captain Rasheedat Ajibade and Folashade Ijamilusi missed a good pull –out by Abidemi Ibe, before Ajibade and Christy Ucheibe were foiled within seconds by the brilliant Kemmeli, in goal for Brazil. Yet, the Flamingoes offered little going forward and never looked like the side that hammered South Africa 6-0 in one of the African qualifying games.
Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, one of Nigeria’s better players on the day, had saved a point blank effort before coming out to clear as the South Americans surged forward. However, her clearance did not go far and Micaelly lifted the ball into an empty net for the only goal of the match.
In the second half, Itu failed to get the ball past Kemmeli in a one-on-one after good pass from Ajibade, and Ajibade then shot over the bar before Kemmeli held another good effort from the Nigerian captain in added time.
The Flamingoes next play England, on Tuesday, knowing their campaign would be in jeopardy if they fail to earn the three points at stake in that match.