2010 South Africa World Cup Penalty Shootout Game The Super Falconet of Nigeria – Glorious March to Stardom

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The Super Falconet of Nigeria – Glorious March to Stardom

The Falconets stormed into Chile in 2008 with high expectations from millions of Nigerians back home. They were grouped together with Chile, England and the New Blacks. The team, led by coach Daniel Evumena, had an excellent outing, after defeating New Zealand 3-2 in an action-packed opening match. In their second game, the Falconets drew 1-1 with England, before inflicting a 2-0 defeat on Chile in their final group game. They qualified for the quarter-finals, where they were paired with France. The quarter-final match was a five-goal thriller which ended 3-2 in favor of France. The Falconets were thus knocked out of the tournament, but they kept their heads up with their thrilling tournament.

The team returned to the world stage in 2010 when the tournament was hosted by Germany. The team started their campaign on a bright note when they drew 1-1 with England in a game that saw Desire Oparanozie score the crucial equalizer to give Nigeria a deserved point. In their second group match played against Japan at the Impuls Arena, the Falconets produced a major upset by beating top favorites Japan 2-1 in a game that saw Amarachi Okoronkwo and Desire Oparanozie score for the Nigerian side. The stage was then set for their final group game against Mexico and the Nigerians who were already assured of a place in the quarter-finals, rallied to a 1-1 draw to finish second in their group.

At the quarter-final stage, Nigeria were drawn alongside defending champions USA. It was a classic match that saw the best of African football. USA’s Amber Brooks had put her side ahead as early as the 9th minute, and it looked like the goal would be enough to book the last four when Blue’s Helen Ukaonu fired home a free-kick . top corner of the USA goal in the 79th minute to tie the score at 1-1. The match was then decided on penalties which saw the Nigerians triumph over their American counterpart 4-2. It was a momentous occasion for women’s football in Africa, as no African country had ever beaten the USA at that level.

The semi-final pair saw Nigeria clash with South America, Colombia. It was a match that was decided by an early goal scored by Ebere Orji in the 2nd minutes of the game after Colombian goalkeeper-Paula Forero failed to deal with a long ball played into her goal area. The victory saw Nigeria enter the history books as the first African team to qualify for the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals.

In the final held at the Schuco Arena in Bielefeld, Germany proved a handful for the Nigerian youths who were shocked by the occasion. They won the encounter 2-0 against the Nigerians to settle for a deserved silver medal.

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