NIGERIA'S Super Falconettes have won the silver medal at the just-concluded U20 Women's World Cup after succumbing to a narrow 0-1 loss to Germany in the final which took place at Montreal's Olympic Stadium last night.
Highly favoured to win the tournament, the Falconettes had been one of the revelation of the fiesta, beating all their opponents with panache and style. However, last night, they succumbed to an extra time goal in the 98th minute after the score stood at 0-0 at the end of regulation time.
With this victory, Germany have now won the U20 Women's World Cup for a record third time and this is the second time they have beaten Nigeria in the final, having done so in 2010 at home. Unfortunately for Nigeria, Lena Petermann scored the title-winning goal eight minutes into extra time to settle the game during which the Germans had been outplayed for long stretches.
For the second match in succession, Germany had their goalkeeper Meike Kamper to thank and she was appropriately named player of the match. For lengthy spells, the Falconettes strutted their stuff, showing crisp passing, pacey attacks and their traditional physicality but alas, they were unable to find the back of the net.
At the outset, the Falconettes quickly gained a foothold and went on to dominate the first half, creating the better and more numerous chances. An inability to convert those chances was their only failing and the most guilty party was tournament top scorer Asisat Oshoala, who had scored seven goals in the tournament.
Oshoala, who scored four times in the semi-final win over North Korea, was lively throughout but missed her first golden opportunity after 22 minutes. She created the opening out of nothing, robbing Margarita Gidion, outpacing the German defence and rounding Kamper in a stunning display of speed and strength but shot into the side-netting from an acute angle.
With Nigeria's superior physical attributes a telling factor on the big Olympic Stadium pitch, it wasn't long before more chances arrived, with Oshoala again given a sight of goal seven minutes before the break. However, her sights were out again and the ball flashed wide after Chiwendo Ihezuo had done well to snatch possession from Rebecca Knaak at the byline and cut the ball back.
At the start of the second half, the Germans began brightly, with Theresa Panfil and Lena Petermann combining to tee up Sara Daebritz for a powerful left-foot shot that skidded into the arms of Falconettes goalkeeper Sandra Chiichii.
Oshoala remained a constant source of danger, though, coming to life three minutes later, jinking in from the left wing past two German defenders. However, her final effort struck a team-mate before the rebound was sliced high and wide.
With five minutes remaining, the Falconettes had the ball in the net only for their celebrations to be cut short by the assistant referee's flag. That left extra time to settle this pulsating affair and after Oshoala had again gone close for Nigeria, it was Germany who found a breakthrough.
Petermann scored the winner, slotting home from six yards after the energetic Bremer had robbed left-back Gladys Abasi before driving towards the byline and delivering the perfect cutback. Nigeria's Falconettes, who had given so much to the match, proved unable to respond, allowing Germany to hold on to take the trophy home.- See more at: http://www.nigerianwatch.com/news/5161-super-falconettes-win-u20-womens-world-cup-silver-despite-outplaying-germany#sthash.k4l2ZYcw.5MprjwnS.dpuf