COSTA RICA 2014
*Nigeria beats Mexico 3-0 to top Group D. Meets Spain on Friday The Minister and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Dr.Tamuno Danagogo has urged the “Flamingoes” to sustain their current form and bring home to sports loving Nigerians the FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica. The Minister gave this admonition after watching the match between Nigeria and Mexico where the Flamingoes thrashed their counterpart 3-0 early hours of yesterday in a match dominated by the Nigerian girls who according to the Minister have “shown consistency and improved understanding of football in the Mundial”. He commended the Nigerian spirit displayed by the players by refusing to be intimidated by the Mexicans who had in earlier matches at the group stage demonstrated invincibility.
“The defeat of the Mexicans 3-0 has shown that the team is ready to be another symbol of the Transformation Agenda of President Goodluck Jonathan in all facets of our life and especially sports,” the minister enthused. Nigeria’s First Lady, Patience Jonathan, similarly urged the Flamingoes to go all out and win the U-17 cup in Costa Rica.
The First Lady promised to attend the final should Nigeria make a first ever appearance.
An excited Mrs Jonathan spoke moments after she stayed awake, Monday morning, to watch Flamingoes crush their Mexican counterparts 3-0 to finish tops of Group D for a quarter-final confrontation with Spain.
In a press statement issued in Abuja by her Media Adviser, Kenneth Aigbegbele, Mrs Jonathan said the three straight victories at the preliminary stage of the tournament are indicative of the fact that the Nigeria girls meant business and are finally ready to make history for the continent.
“Our girls have made women in Nigeria and the continent proud. We’re fully behind the Flamingoes and I urge them to sustain the winning streak by going all out to record a resounding win against Spain in the quarter-final. Nigeria’s performance at Costa Rica is a morale booster to women in sports generally.’’
The Coach of the Flamingoes, Nkiyu Bala, had earlier boasted at the commencement of the competition that “Nigeria’s women’s football has traditionally been very strong in Africa and we are now challenging the global community at youth level. With good preparations we will be a force to be reckoned with in Costa Rica”.
This according to the minister has proved not to be an empty boast as the team is poised to make a mark at the competition urging them to redouble their efforts especially at the knock-out stage where they are set to meet another big football nation, Spain.
Danagogo who had stayed awake to watch all the matches played so far in the competition to demonstrate his support for the team is now on his way to Costa Rica to personally motivate the team and deliver Mr. President’s message of support to the them.
Bearing in mind Nigeria is yet to progress past the quarter-final and
will be hoping to make a difference, she said, “We know God is behind
us and going to do more great things for us at this tournament. With God
everything is going to be possible against Spain.”
“It’s a good performance from my colleagues. I am happy with my
teammates’ assistance and grateful to God for my award and goal,” Yakubu
admitted. She dedicated the victory against Mexico to God, noting that
the North Americans underrated them going into the final group game.
“Mexico thought they are going to beat us in today’s game, but with
God and determination, we conquered them.” Speaking on what Nigerians
should be expect against Spain, the Rivers Angels attacker promised that
she and her mates will put in their best to advance to the semi-finals.
“We are going to step up our game in the quarter-final to see the semi-final.
He called on all well meaning Nigerians to support and pray for the team so that they can excel at the next stage of the competition. Nigeria battles Group C second placed, Spain while Mexico will take on free-scoring Group C toppers, Japan in the quarter-final respectively on Friday morning