By Joseph Aigbonosumua
The factional President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Chris Giwa, has lauded the Falconets for their gallantry in winning their second Group D game at the ongoing FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup in France.
The battle for the second group ticket will be on Monday, when Nigeria takes on China with the country having a slight edge to progress with any margin of victory.
A statement issued by Mr Victor Iroele, Senior Special Assistant to the president on Media, quoted Giwa as praising the girls for overcoming their first group game loss against Germany to pick the maximum three points against the very determined Haitian girls.
“We are proud of you not disappointing Nigerians and the confidence that the board has in the team.
“It is not easy to come from the loss of the first game to win, in spite of the resistance of the Haitians,” Giwa was quoted as saying.
The NFF President further added: “The battle is not over yet, as we still have a make or mar encounter on Monday against the Chinese ladies. We have confidence in your ability to secure victory.
“Do not take the Chinese for granted neither overrate them, but remain focused and determined to progress to the next round, given your antecedents at this championship,” he said.
Giwa commended the Sports Minister, Barrister Solomon Dalung, for motivating the girls with his physical presence at the match in France and other incentives, while assuring them of the continued prayers and support of Nigerians.
In his own reaction after the match, the Acting General Secretary of the Federation, Dr Emmanuel Ikpeme commended the girls for a great job after the loss to Germany.
“I am happy that after the first game, you did not allow it to affect your morale; your coaches, led by Christopher Danjuma, did all that they needed to do to propel the team to victory today against Haiti,” Dr Ikpeme said.
According to Ikpeme, “do not dwell on celebrating the victory against Haiti; put the win behind you, and face the challenge posed by China, though I have confidence you will deliver”.
Germany defeated China 2-0 in the other group game, leaving the Europeans with six points and Nigeria and China with three points apiece, with the Haitians out of the championship.