Nigeria coach Bala Nikyu said his team will fight to win their last group game so as to avoid heading home early from the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan.
The Flamingoes played out a frustrating goalless draw with the Young Lionesses of England on Tuesday, which means their destiny is no longer in their hands.
Nigeria will on Saturday tackle group leaders North Korea, who are one of the most successful sides in the history of the U17 Women’s World Cup.
The Koreans defeated Brazil 1-0 in the other match played at the Prince Mohammed International Stadium on Tuesday to top Group C and ensure the group goes down to the wire.
The Flamingoes, who are still bottom of the group with one point and a minus one goal difference, now need to beat North Korea by two unreplied goals and hope for a barren draw between England and Brazil, to go through.
The Flamingoes lost 1-0 to Brazil in their opening game and will be under pressure to keep their hope of advancing to the quarterfinals burning, but in spite of a much better performance that yielded 32 attempts (5 on target), they could not even manage a goal.
“In the game of football, it is not playing well that gives you the trophy, it is the number of goals you are able to score,” Nikyu explained at the press Conference after the game on Tuesday.
“We played well, we didn’t score, but we want to thank God because we didn’t lose and at the same time we are not happy.
“When you look at our team you will know that it’s not a team that is supposed to go out of the competition this early, so definitely we will work towards that and see that we win the next match.
Nikyu had an explanation for why they failed to score despite having loads of attempts against England, who seemed to be tiring out in the second half.
“Out of the whole team we have just three people who have experience in the game, while the others are just new, they are coming out for the first time in life, that is why they are a bit jittery when they go to the goal end,” he reasoned.
“But having played Brazil and England, in the third match they should be able to believe that they can do it.”