Nigeria’s Falconets Lose 2-0 To Germany In World Cup Final
Nigeria’s hope of becoming Africa’s first nation to win a female soccer world cup was dashed on Sunday afternoon as the falconets lost 2-0 to the tournament’s host and favorites, Germany. They thus became the first country to host and win the women U-20 tournament.
It took the Germans only 8 minutes to establish themselves as the champions-to-be, when the tournament’s highest goal scorer, Alexandra Popp lobbied the ball over the Nigerian goalie to record the first goal of the day and her 10th in 6 matches. 10 goals in one tournaments established her as a prolific striker to reckon with; this feat also earned her the Adidas Golden Boot as the highest goal scorer.
The falconets fought gallantly, had a better ball possession, but the Germans meant business; they were not out to entertain anybody. They only came to score goals and win the match; they were focused and disciplined. In their characteristic way since the tournament started, their opponents had better ball possession of 54% to 46%; the host had 21 shots against their visitors’ 16: and they did the scoring and became the latest champions of the U-20 female soccer world.
The falconets fought back and tried to equalize, but as they inched toward an equalizer, the Germans pulled up another surprise in the 2nd minute of injury time. Kim Kulig’s header hit the upright and hit Osinachi Ohale on the back, and sailed straight into the net for a second goal for the host.
Kudos to the German girls for playing to their coach’s instructions. It takes discipline to be a champion, and that was one good thing the European team had. They crushed all opponents that came their way right from the group stage to the finals, scoring 20 goals and conceding only 4.
The Nigerians were great in defeat; they were never humiliated. They gave a very good account of themselves, especially by beating the defending champions USA at the quarter final stage. They were a disciplined side as well; they were physically fit and focused.
The European side was no doubt a very good side. Most of the awards went to the Germans: The Adidas Golden Boot went to Alexandra Popp (10 goals), silver Boot went to Ji So Yun of Korea Republic (7 goals) and the Bronze Boot went to Sydney Leroux of USA.
Adidas Golden Ball also went to Alexandra Popp; silver ball went to Ji So Yun and the bronze ball was awarded to Kim Kulig. Adidas golden gloves went to Bianca Henninger of USA, while the FIFA fair play trophy was awarded to the Korean Republic.