Nigeria battles New Zealand to a must-win draw, Gusau motivates players

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Nigeria’s U-17 women’s team, The Flamingos, will take on New Zealand today with a qualifying spot at stake.
Both teams lost their opening matches and sit bottom of Group B with no points each.

While Chile defeated New Zealand 3-1 in their opener to top the group with a three point and +2 goal lead, Germany sits second with three points and a +1 goal lead following their win against Nigeria on Tuesday. The Nigerian Flamingos are third on the record, with New Zealand sitting bottom.

The Flamingos must beat New Zealand this afternoon to guarantee their chances of advancing.

Meanwhile, The Flamingos head coach Bankole Olowookere has ensured that the girls will qualify for the next round despite their opening 2-1 loss.

Olowookere attributed the team’s loss to a lack of focus and said the girls had learned their lesson and were ready to take on New Zealand.

“We lost concentration against Germany and we were forced to follow their pattern. Although the Germans were imposing on us, if we had kept our style of play, we would have won,” he said.

Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) President Ibrahim Gusau urged the players to make the nation proud by beating New Zealand today to increase their chances of advancing to the next round of the championship.

The match will kick off at noon at the Pandit Jawaharial Nehru Stadium in Goa.

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