Nigeria’s Super Falconets will on Thursday battle Spain in the quarter finals at the ongoing FIFA U20 Women Women World Cup in France.
The Nigerian side got a stoppage-time own goal to earn a highly-dramatic 1-1 draw with China PR in Dinan-Lehon on Monday to qualify for the last eight of the tournament.
Needing a victory to leapfrog the West Africans to the runners-up spot in the group, China were the more dangerous side in the first half at the Stade du Clos Gastel. Mengyu Shen had the first chance of the match on 25 minutes when she hit the Nigeria crossbar. A few minutes later, captain Linlin Wang headed over the target from close range.
China’s breakthrough came four minutes before half-time, as the diminutive Linyan Zhang turned her Nigerian marker in the box and stroked the ball past a diving Chiamaka Nnadozie to give the Asians the lead at the break
The Super Falconets pushed hard in search of an equaliser in the second half, but found the China backline and goalkeeper Huan Xu in resilient form until the end of the contest. Ajibade became Nigeria’s hero when she turned home Aishat Bello’s cross at the near post.
The goal sparked celebrations from the West Africans at the full-time whistle.
Spain finished tops with seven points ahead of Japan, USA and Paraguay in Group C.