Head coach of Flamingos Bankole Olowookere says his side showed determination and desperation to claim all three points against New Zealand and will be more focused in their final Group B game against Chile at the Women’s U-17 World Cup in India on Monday.
Olowookere disclosed this after the Flamingos’ 4-0 win over New Zealand on Friday. The Nigerians had lost their opening tie 2-1 to Germany.
“We put the loss against Germany behind us and approached the (New Zealand) game with determination,’’ Olowookere said on NFF TV.
The Flamingos missed a lot of scoring chances but were still able to score four goals, but Olowookere is not worried, insisting his players will improve in their next match against the Chileans.
“I’m not worried, if you have been watching us from the African qualifiers for the World Cup, these things happen and every time we always remember that these are young girls coming up.
“It’s part of the developmental process, we will always see this kind of things in a game of their age, they will be missing some chances, but what is very important is that they can create chances.”
The Flamingos are tied on three points with the Chileans, but need just a draw against the South Americans to advance due to their superior goals tally.
Olowookere said his side will be more focused in their bid to secure a last eight spot in the schoolgirls competition.
“We will approach the Chile game the same way we approached Germany and New Zealand, it’s just unfortunate that the Germans turned the game around.
“But we will be more careful against Chile because it’s a step to the quarter-finals and also a step to exiting the tournament. We will be very mindful of that and approach the game with caution, but we will be more focused and determined.”
Flamingos have a superior +3 goals difference against the South Americans’ -4 goals deficit.
That means Nigeria need just a draw against Chile to advance to the quarter-finals on Monday, while table toppers Germany, who have sealed their place in the knockout phase, having claimed maximum six points, also play New Zealand, the group’s whipping team, same day.
In other games, Mexico beat Spain 2-1 as China fell to Colombia 2-0 in Group C on Saturday.
All four teams in Group C stand a chance of advancing, having amassed three points each.
Also, France lost to an impressive Tanzania side 2-1, while leaders Japan thrashed Canada 4-0 in Group D on Saturday. Second-place Tanzania, Africa’s representatives, need a win against Canada on Tuesday to advance to the knockout phase for the first time.
In Group A Africa’s other representatives Morocco, with three points, need a win to advance, but face an uphill task against leaders USA, who have four points, on Monday. Second-place Brazil, also with four points, have an easier task against hosts India.