Thursday, August 30, 2012

FIFA U20 WWC- Beefed Up Bonuses and a Semi final Berth,Nigeria Continues To Dazzle

A day after the Nigerian Football Federation doubled the Falconets' bonuses,the results of the quarter-final match against Mexico is more than enough to justify the beefed up bonuses.The Falconets are believed to be collecting $1000 per win and double this amount is enough motivation for these young ladies to go for the ultimate.

Reportedly,the president of the Nigerian Football Federation, Aminu Maigari flew to Japan with the said "bonus package". The president also promised the amount to "graduate if they reach the final or win the trophy". He added that "money should not be a problem to them".

Against a steadily improving Mexican side at the quarter finals,Nigeria made their intentions known with Oparanozie and Ordega posing problems for the Mexican defense. Ordega had her shot deflected past goalkeeper Cecilia Santiago only for the goal to be disallowed by referee Abirami Apbai after the assistant referee flagged for an infringement. Mexico also had their moments with Huerta,Gomez Junco and Samarzich combining beautifully only to hit a brick wall in the Nigerian defense.

Nigerian continued to puncture holes in the Mexican midfield and defense but the much needed goal was not forth coming taking the game into extra time. Then came the 109th minute goal score by Nigerian striker Desire Oparanozie who  rose above her marker to power in a tailored Ugo Njoku cross,putting Nigeria ahead by a lone goal leaving the Mexicans dejected with minutes ticking away. The blast of the whistle signalling the end of the game sent the vociferous  Nigerian fans and players alike into an euphoric frenzy."Yes, Nigeria is through to the semis bring on whoever" says a Nigerian fan,beaming with smiles.

Indeed,Nigeria's performance so far is one to be mirrored by all women's soccer nations on the continent of Africa. With news about unpaid bonuses emerging from  the Ghanaian camp,who knows what a little bit of financial motivation would have done for the Ghanaians,not to say money is all it takes to be a winner,but had Ghana been tactically astute coupled with "a bonus package",may be the results would have been different.

Nigeria moves on to the semis to play either  USA or North Korea.

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