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Published On: Thu, Aug 21st, 2014

Falconets down Korea DPR, soar into final

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The-FalconetsAsisat Oshoala yesterday scored four times as Nigeria reached the final with a thumping 6-2 victory over Korea DPR in the highest-scoring semi-final in FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup history.

Oshoala also laid on two more goals in a win that leaves the Super Falconets to face either France or Germany on Sunday at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium, and the North Koreans to play for third place at the same venue.

Nigeria have had a tendency to score quick goals during their time at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Canada 2014, and Courtney Dike continued that trend with a goal barely more than a minute after

kick-off. Oshoala set the tone by setting it up, releasing Dike in behind Korea DPR’s captain Choe Sol-Gyong, and the No8 expertly picked out the far post beating the outstretched Kim Chol-Ok to establish the early lead. At the half-way point of the first period Oshoala doubled Nigeria’s lead, capitalising on a poor touch from centre-back Song Kyong-Hui. Having only the keeper to beat, Oshoala comfortable touched the ball to her right and passed it into an open goal.

Less than ten minutes later, Ri Un Sim – arguably the North Koreans’ most dangerous attacker throughout the tournament – pulled one back with a great bit of individual skill after receiving a long ball from midfield. Ri beat two defenders on the cutback and finished past Sandra Chiichii with a powerful shot into the top corner. From there, Korea DPR looked inspired in search of an equaliser but the score remained 2-1 as the teams went into half-time and Nigeria swiftly put the game out of reach only minutes after the restart.

In similar fashion to her appearance and goal in the quarter-finals against New Zealand, Uchechi Sunday came on as a substitute and within a minute scored to restore the Nigerians’ two-goal lead. Oshoala then put the game out of reach on the hour mark when she hit a stunning ball from 20 yards out that left Kim with no chance as it flew into the top corner.

Korea DPR had one last glimmer of hope two minutes later when Ugo Njoku was handled the ball in her own area, allowing Jon So-Yon to score from the penalty spot. However, Oshoala’s quality shone through yet again in the 68th minute when she completed her hat-trick in hat-trick, beating the Song and winning a foot race with Kim to once more fire into an empty net.

Nigeria were not finished there, though, and with five minutes from time the No4 matched the number on her jersey with the amount of goals she would score on the day as a result of another North Korean defensive miscue less than six yards from goal, resulting in a simple tap-in for Oshoala.

Oshoala had taken the wind out of the Korean sails far earlier in the match and when the final whistle sounded, her Nigerian team-mates surrounded her in celebration while the Hwang Yong-Bong’s side walked off the field knowing they will be heading to Montreal to battle for third place instead of the championship.


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