Nigeria U20 women team held off a late spell of pressure to defeat South Korea U20 women team 2-1 in Montcon.
Courtney Dike scored the fastest goal in the history of FIFA women’s tournaments after she took advantage of Korea’s lacklustre defending.
It was a day Chinwendu Ihezuo announced herself as a serious, grown-up footballer, capable of shaping the bigger occasions.
There have been plenty of times she has threatened but she has never shown so much efficiency and the flavour of a typical centre-forward.
The outcome is that Nigeria U20 women team will need a point when they clash with England U20 women team in the third match of the Group C at the on-going FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Canada.
South Korea’s poor start to the game was punished, despite dominating possession and will be able to testify, in great detail, what a formidable opponent Chinwedu Ihezuo is, with those qualities of penetration, directness and powerful finishing.
Her first minute assist to Courtney Dike and her half volley gave the Falconets a lead that they cherished until Kim Soyi scored, there was a late, desperate onslaught from the Korean side.
The Nigerians had withstood some concerted late second-half pressure but they also had enough chances on the break to have made it a more convincing victory.
It is rare to see Korea sliced open so easily but there had already been signs, for Courtney’s first goal, an intelligent cut back from Chinwendu to the US-based forward were well converted less than 20 seconds into the game.
A long range effort from Osarenoma Igbinovia was palmed away by Min Yukyeong as the Africans bombarded the Asians.
Korea had a chance to score in the 24th minute when Kim Soyi’s attempted chip over Nigeria goalkeeper Sandra Chiichii went over the bar.
The Falconets had two glorious opportunities to make it 3-0 only to put begging chances wide.
Korea had just begun to get into the game, before Ihezuo made it 2-0 with a rocket that sailed into the net.
The best chance for the Koreans came in the 59th minute when Kim Inji received the ball and shot from the left side of the penalty area only to watch her effort go inches wide of the near post. Inji would have see another effort suffer the same fate ten minutes later as the Nigerians continued to breathe a collective sigh of relief.
A nervy conclusion was guaranteed in the 71st minute when Nigeria failed to clear their lines effectively and Soyi capitalised by scoring from the edge of the penalty area to give the Koreans a lifeline.
What Korea needed was a quick response in the business end and they certainly put everything into trying to get back into the match.
This was a game, however, when their erratic defending was combined with some generous finishing and that, together with Sandra Chiichii’s goalkeeping, Asisat Oshoala’s expertise and Sarah Nnodim’s robust defending, was enough to confirm a fine game for Chinwendu.
The African side will lock horns with their English counterparts at Edmonton on 13th August in their last group match, knowing at least a draw will push them to the quarter finals of the tournament.