Nigeria’s U-20 Women’s National Team, the Falconets started their campaign for honours at the FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup in Costa Rica on a winning note, beating France by a lone goal in their Group D opening game on Friday morning.
The Falconets’ goal came in the 85th minute of play when Flourish Sabastine got a through pass to give Nigeria a slim 1-0 win over France at the San Jose National Stadium.
The game was suspended in the 20th minute by Mexican referee Francia González due to a heavy downpour.
However, after the game resumed, it was France who almost broke the deadlock on 23 minutes from a dangerous corner, with the Falconets’ keeper misjudging the flight of the ball but the defence cleared their line.
The Falconets almost conceded a goal in the 39th minute, following a goal mouth scramble but a timely block by a Falconet saved the day before the rebound was cleared to safety.
Nigeria’s Esther Onyenezide tried a long-range left foot shot in the 54th minute, but it was well saved by the French goalkeeper.
France had their 81st-minute goal ruled out after consultations with VAR, for a foul on the Falconets’ keeper.
With just five minutes to the end of action, the Falconets broke the deadlock, as Flourish Sabastine ran on to a through pass from Idoko before slotting past the French goalkeeper.
Nigeria will now face South Korea in their second Group D clash on Sunday.