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U17 Women's World Cup

WATCH: Nigeria & Germany celebrate U17 World Cup bronze medal match after tense shootout

14:48 GMT+4 31/10/2022
Nigeria U17 and Germany U17 celebrate
Germany joined Nigeria to celebrate their U17 Women’s World Cup bronze medal after Sunday’s hotly contested third-place playoff.
  • Flamingos took third place
  • This is the best finish by an African nation
  • Withstood shootout pressure to beat the Europeans

WHAT HAPPENED? Although Opeyemi Ajakaye, Amina Bello, and Edidiong Etim scored to give Nigeria a 3-0 lead, the European reigning champions fought back late in the second half – with goals from Jella Veit, Paulina Bartz, and Loreen Bender - and the winner of the play-off was to be determined in post-match penalties.

Paulina Platner, Bender, and Bartz all failed to make successful conversions for Germany, while Nigeria emerged victors after Blessing Sunday, Edidiong Etim, and Ajakaye scored their penalties.

The Flamingos only missed one penalty when German goalkeeper Eve Boettcher saved Tumininu Adeshina’s effort.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: It was the very first time Nigeria reached the last four of the global junior competition.

Previously they had only advanced to the quarter-finals, and this was at the 2010, 2012, and 2014 editions.

In India, they also registered wins against New Zealand and Chile in the group before seeing off the United States of America in the quarter-finals after post-match penalties.

They were eliminated from the semis by Colombia in another shootour after the battle ended in a goalless draw in regulation time.

Meanwhile, their feat is also good news for Nigerian football supporters who have had to deal with heartbreak, especially when the senior men’s team failed to qualify for the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar.

The Super Falcons also faltered in the Women's Africa Cup of Nations finals in Morocco this year. Being nine-time Wafcon champions, they were expected to perform better but finished fourth after a defeat to Zambia in the third-place playoffs.

WHAT NEXT FOR NIGERIA? The achievement in India is set to inspire them going into the next tournament.

Having reached the last four and eventually finishing third, they will have to deal with the high expectations of qualifying for the final next time around.