The Falconets' gaffer has expressed delight at a personal milestone on his team's progress to a WC semi-final for the first time after victory over New Zealand on Sunday in Canada
By Samuel Ahmadu
Head coach of Nigeria U20 Women's national team, Peter Dedevbo has revealed to Goalhis excitement at recording a quarter-final victory at the World Cup after the Falconets' 4-1 win over New Zealand on Sunday.
Dedevbo, who led the U17 women national teams twice to the Fifa Women’s U17 World Cup in Trinidad and Tobago 2010 and Azerbaijian 2012, crashed out at the quarter-finals both times after defeats to Korea Republic and France respectively.
But in Canada on Sunday, a brace each from Rivers Angels’ pair of Asisat Oshoala and Sunday Uchechi at the Moncton Stadium fired the Falconets past the Oceania side into their third consecutive semi-finals at the Fifa U20 Women's World Cup.
On the secret behind his team's rout against New Zealand, Dedevbo told Goal that the successful execution of their extra practice on creating and converting chances aided their landslide victory.
"It means a lot to me - after taking the U17 to the quarter-final twice - people saw it as if I was jinxed not to pass the quarter-final stages at a World Cup competition. I'm happy to have finally broke the jinx," Dedevbo told Goal.
"In our previous matches we created chances but failed to convert them. So the emphasis was on how many goals can we score during our training session before the game.
"When we won our last group match to qualify to the quarter-final, the confidence in the team began to improve. And winning today the confidence is high, the character is high and everything about the team is high at the moment," he excitedly maintained.
The former Flamingoes coach also saluted the character, composure and discipline of his team, most especially the defenders for playing to instructions to ensure the massive win.
"I'm happy my team is improving with every game. The understanding, cohesion and everything with the players is improving and I know even in the semi-finals the team will do better because they will play with a lot of confidence, though they won't be over confident.
"The defence was disciplined, I told them that they must not give the ball away easily to the opponent and they played to instructions and played well," he noted.
Meanwhile, the Falconets gaffer has assured Nigerians that his team will come out hugely motivated to win in the semi-final against Korea DPR.
He appealed to Nigerians to sustain their prayers and support, just as he vowed they will not disappoint in Canada.
"We are going into the semi-final with so much confidence within us. We are resting tomorrow morning and begin to plan for our game against the Korea DPR [on Monday] evening.
"I appreciate sport-loving Nigerians for their support and prayers back home and I still want them to keep praying and supporting the Falconets," he concluded.
Nigeria will take on Korea DPR in the semi-final at the Moncton Stadium on Wednesday.