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The gaffer hopes to advance beyond the 1/8th round after a convincing 3-0 victory against Mexico but insists they are not getting distracted by their impressive start

Nigeria will be looking to seal their place in the last four of the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup when they entertain Spain in Liberia, Costa Rica on Friday.

The Nigerian girls started their campaign on an impressive note, advancing from the group phase with a 100-percent record - scoring seven goals and conceding two in the process. 

The African powerhouse are within touching distance of their first ever semi-final place after three-straight wins against China PR, Colombia and Mexico rewarded them with a quarter-final match with the European giants.

Coach Bala Nikyu though expects a stern test but trusts that his team will be solely motivated by the emphatic victory recorded against the red-hot Mexicans early this week.

Spain defeated Paraguay 7-1 in their last game and Nikyu admitted that the Europeans would be an imposing threat but he is confident and assured his ladies will be prepared for the challenge.

"We would ensure that we win this game within the allotted time and we are looking at the possibility of not allowing the game to be dragged into a penalty shootout," said Nikyu.

"I agree that Spain has been making progress since they started but they won't progress (beyond the quarterfinal) at the expense of Nigeria on Friday."

The Europeans will bank on Nahikari Garcia who scored twice aginast Paraguay to trouble the Nigerians while Uchenna Kanu will be the bargain for the Flamingoes after scoring against all opponents in the group stage.

Meanwhile, Spain coach Jorge Vilda, who is yet to face an African side in the competition, believes his side's impressive attacking potential will get them far in the competition but admits they must improve on their finishing.

“This team goes from strength to strength. It’s always the same for us at major tournaments; as the games go by, the team gets better and better. Our last two results have shown our attacking potential," Vilda said.

“But there are still aspects of our play that we need to improve, such as nervous starts and little uncharacteristic lapses. We still have work to do,” he admitted.

The Nigerian side will have an injury-free full squad to pick from with Nikyu expected to field the same team that defeated Mexico in the final Group D clash. Similarly, the Spaniards are with their full strength for the knock-out tie.

Nigeria are in search of their first-ever semi final ticket while Spain hope to go one better than their  third-place finish at Trinidad and Tobago 2010.

The game takes place at the Estadio Edgardo Baltodano on Friday (3am Nigerian time).

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