Alexander Okere, Benin
The Flamingoes on Saturday ended their return leg match against Ethiopia in the African qualifiers for the 2018 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in a goalless draw.
The result of the encounter at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin was, however, enough for the Nigerian side to book a place in the final round of the qualifiers on the away goal rule.
Having held their Ethiopian counterparts to a 1-1 draw in Addis Ababa early in the month, the Nigerian side would face Cameroon in the final round.
The Flamingoes started the game with several opportunities which they could not convert but held down attacks from the Ethiopian players.
“We need to work harder because it was not what I expected. Definitely, we will keep preparing for the World Cup.
“We do not have a problem with that (qualification). By the time we are able to get out in our first match with a good margin of goals, we would be okay,” Head Coach of the Flamingoes, Bala Nikyu, said.
The Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, expressed satisfaction with the qualification.
Shaibu, however, urged the Nigerian technical team to improve on the style of play.
He said, “We are happy that we have qualified for the next round. But I think we have a lot of work to do with the team. When you watch this team (Flamingoes) and the Falconets, there is a big difference.
“So, I think the technical team needs to do more work. This is our home ground but the Ethiopians were more confident.”
But the President of the Nigerian Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, said that the team would reappraise its performance ahead of the next game.
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