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The Nigeria U17 girls put up a brave showing in their defeat of Gao Hong’s side in their opening game at the 2014 Fifa U17 Women’s World Cup

Nigeria began their campaign at the 2014 Fifa U17 Women’s World Cup with a 2-1 victory over China PR at the Estadio Alejandro Morera Soto in Alajuela.

A first half strike from Rasheedat Ajibade and a second half header from Uchenna Kanu were all Bala Nkiyu’s side needed to hold off threats from the Chinese ladies who got their only goal through Fan Yugiu.

The Nigerians put up a fine display in the opening minutes of the tension soaked encounter and could have shot into the lead in the fifth minute but for the heroics of goalkeeper Peng Shimeng.

Flamingoes after several failed attempts to score, however, shot into the lead through Rasheedat Ajibade in the 21st minute. The Nigerian scored from a rebound off Uchenna Kanu’s shot following a well taken corner kick by Chinwedu Ihezuo.

Shimeng was called to duty four times in the space of 10 minutes after the first goal by the Flamingoes but she stood unbendable in goal as her heroics denied the Africans the opportunity to double their lead.

After several minutes of dominance, Uchenna Kanu got Nigeria’s second goal in the 63rd minute through a powerful header that left the opposing goalkeeper with no chance.

The Asians found their way back into the game when captain Fan Yugiu calmly finished Yan Liu’s cross. The Chinese continued to press for an equaliser during the final 25 minutes but the Nigerian backline marshaled by Ologboshere held firm. 

Goalkeeper Onyinyechukwu Okeke performed admirably in goal for Nigeria as she made fine saves to deny Gao Hong’s girls from getting a point form the game.

Nigeria will take on Colombia that lost 4-0 to Mexico in their next game on Wednesday.

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