Colombia on Wednesday defeated Nigeria’s Flamingos in the semi-final of the 2022 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in India.
The South Americans kept their nerve to beat Nigeria 6-5 on penalties and booked their first-ever final in the competition.
The Flamingos went into the game following their historic defeat of the US in the quarter-final but their luck appeared to run out on Wednesday at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa.
Bankole Olowookere, the team’s head coach, decided to drop Opeyemi Ajakaye for Edidiong Etim and the change blunted Nigeria’s effectiveness in attack.
The Colombians dominated the game and carved out swathes of chances that left the Nigerian defence gasping for inspiration, with only the sharp reflexes of Faith Omilana keeping the South Americans at bay.
Yesica Munoz drew two sharp saves from an alert Omilana before the Nigerian tipped a freekick from Mary Alvarez against the crossbar while Linda Caicedo kept weaving her way through both wings of the Flamingos’ defence.
The introduction of Ajakaye in the second half presented Nigeria’s first real chance in the game. She pounced on a defensive error from the Colombians but her first-time shot was parried away by the goalkeeper.
The scoreline remained goalless and the game tapered into a penalty shootout.
Omamuzo Edafe and Comfort Folorounsho lost their respective kicks and Colombia advanced into the final.
Nigeria will face the loser of the second semi-final between Germany and Spain in the third-place match on Sunday.