Nigeria coach Nikyu backs Flamingoes to beat Spain in FIFA U-17 Women World Cup quarter-finals stage

Coach of Nigeria's U-17 coach Bala Nkiyu

Coach of Nigeria’s U-17 coach Bala Nkiyu

Coach of the Flamingoes of Nigeria, Bala Nikyu,  is optimistic  of his team’s chances of qualifying for the last four of the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.

The Nigerian girls face Spain in the quarter-finals, after impressive displays which saw them advance from the group stage with a 100% record.

Nikyu expects a tough game against the Spaniards, who beat Paraguay 7-1 in their last game, but remained confident that his girls have what it takes to progress.

“We would ensure that we win this game within the allotted time and we are looking at the possibility of not allowing the game to be dragged into a penalty shootout,” he said.

“I agree that Spain has been making progress since they started but they won’t progress (beyond the quarterfinal) at the expense of Nigeria on Friday.”

Spain coach Jorge Vilda, is banking on his side’s impressive attacking line-up to trouble Nigeria, but admitted that they still need to work on their finishing.

“This team goes from strength to strength. It’s always the same for us at major tournaments; as the games go by, the team gets better and better. Our last two results have shown our attacking potential,” Vilda said.

“But there are still aspects of our play that we need to improve, such as nervous starts and little uncharacteristic lapses. We still have work to do.”

Nigeria is seeking its first ever semi-final appearance, while Spain will be hoping to surpass their third-place finish at Trinidad and Tobago in 2010. The game takes place at the Estadio Edgardo Baltodano on Friday (3am Nigerian time).


Black Maidens, Flamingoes keep African hopes alive in FIFA U-17 tournament in Costa Rica

Ghana's female U-17 team

Ghana’s female U-17 team

Ghana and Nigeria are keeping Africa’s hopes alive at  U17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica after the other representative of the continent, Zambia were knocked out in the group stage.

The two teams are through to the quarterfinals of the competition and they both face stiff European competition.

Ghana had been impressive until their last match were they fizzled to a desperate 10-man Canada, falling 2-1 after they had pummeled everyone in their group including the much-fancied Germans.

The Black Maidens now face the Italians in Match 26 in San Jose on Thursday and the Ghanaians will have to find their speed again of they have any hopes of beating the pacy Italians.

The Nigerians, on the other hand picked the right time to find their form, putting out Colombia and China, the Nigerians were on fire against the solid, co-Group D favourites Mexico.

They are yet to be beaten, and after dismantling the team from North America 3-0 are set to face Spain in Match 28 ironically in the city with another West African connotation – called Liberia.

Nigeria are just as fast as Ghana but are also slick up the middle and in the air, where Kanu has been deadly with her headers and is living up to her famous namesake Nwankwo Kanu.

Both teams certainly have the potential to progress to an all-African semifinal on the 31 March.


Ghana, Nigeria making Africa proud in FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup


FIFA U-17 tournament in Costa Rica

FIFA U-17 tournament in Costa Rica

Ghana and Nigerian are set to advance into the second stage of the ongoing 2014 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.

The two sides have both their  group matches leaving them well placed to advance past the first stage of the prestigious competition.
Ghana won its first match against Korea by a 2-0 margin before handing Germany a 1-0 defeat in their Group ‘B’ matches played over the week.
Nigeria also started on a high beating Republic of China 2-1 in the opener before seeing off Colombia by a similar margin in the second Group ‘D’ match.
Matters were however not as rosy for their CAF counterparts Zambia who lost both of their opening Group ‘A’ matches first against Italy [2-0] and later a 4-0 thrashing by Venezuela.
Ghana faces Canada, Nigeria will face Mexico while Zambia will face Costa Rica in their final league matches this week.

NFF Boss Maigari attributes Flamingoes performance in FIFA U-17 World Cup to adequate preparations

NFF boss Aminu Maigari

NFF boss Aminu Maigari

President of the Nigeria Football Federation Aminu Maigari has attributed the impressive performance  of the Flamingoes of Nigeria at the FIFA under 17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica to the preparations the team had prior to the tournament.

The Flamingoes were camped in Faro,Portugal before they departed for the North American continent for the World Cup.

Nigeria in their first game at the tournament stunned powerhouses,China winning 2-1 to get their first win in the competition and last night equally beat Colombia by the same margin to qualify for the quarter-finals of the tournament.

”We’ve given them very befitting friendly international which i believe they did very well, they played boys and girls in Faro Portugal so it’s as good as given them all sort of required friendly matches,” Maigari told a Nigeria based radio station.

He further added that they will get better as they progress in the tournament:”I believe they will keep improving, if you go by their status they are just young and fresh players and for them to play at the world cup, i believe they will keep improving” he added.

Nigeria and Mexico have both qualified for the last eight but would face each other in the last group game,to ascertain who will top the group.


Preview: Ghana turns attention to crucial Germany test in FIFA U-17 group stage

Coach Evans Adotey and his side

Coach Evans Adotey and his side

After their impressive start in the  group stage of the FIFA U-17, Ghana coach Evans Adotey has stated that his team has now turned its focus to Germany.

A win in  the next game will grant Ghana, who beat Korea DPR 2-0 in the first match, passage to the next round in Costa Rica but the fixture on Tuesday represents a major task for the Black Maidens.

The Germans showed their worth after rallying back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Canada. But Adotey does foresee the game defining who qualifies from Group B.

“Not really,” Adotey said. “Except a win on Tuesday against Germany to ensure that I have qualified because I need only three points to qualify to the next stage.”

At the last World Cup, both teams met in the group stage which the Germans won but in the match for third place, Ghana triumphed to win bronze.

Adotey says it’s a changed side from the one the Black Maidens faced in Azerbaijan two years ago.

“Looking at Germany as compared to the previous edition, this time I saw an all-round new team. Looking at how they played [2-2 draw with Canada], they were down 2-0 but came all the way after 60 minutes to end the game 2-2.”

Though a new side, the striking fightback exhibited by the Germans on Saturday has given the Ghana coach an insight about his next opponents.

“This is an indication that we have to be careful. I am preparing to make sure that Ghana go around Germany.

“I am not worried but it’s good for a coach to always get ready or stand on his or her feet. My first game plan is to keep a clean sheet. If I don’t score, they don’t score.

“Coming all the way to redeem the two goals conceded in the first half, I would take a look at them. I would not rush into goal scoring. My objective is to win this particular game,” the Black Maidens coach said.


Ghana’s Black Maidens begin FIFA U-17 tournament with win over Korea

Ghana beat Korea in their first match

Ghana beat Korea in their first match

Ghana got off their U-17 World Cup campaign off to a winning start as the Black Maidens defeated Korea DPR 2-0 in the Group B opener on Saturday in Costa Rica.

A Jane Ayieyam first half goal and a second after the break by Sandra Owusu-Ansah sealed victory in Liberia as Augustine Adotey’s side jump to the summit of the four-team table.

It was a perfect start for Adotey, whose team return to action on Tuesday against Germany at the Estadio Edgardo Baltodano Stadium.

Ghana, bronze medalist at the last competition started off strongly against the 2012 runners-up but could not find the net as their best effort in the early minutes was a cross by Lily Niber-Lawrence that flew across the face of goal with no one to tap in.

The Koreans also stringed a couple of passes and showed Ghana how dangerous they could be on the ball.

However, Ayieyam put Ghana in front when she she controlled a ball in the box and slipped it under the diving arms of Korea’s goalkeeper Kim Myong Sun in the 17th minute.

Korea caused Ghana some problems when Berlinda Anane cleared off the line with Azume Adams beaten. Ghana held onto their slim lead to end the half 1-nil up.

Both sides returned from the break and it was the Koreans who pushed for the equaliser.

But eight minutes into the restart, Ghana doubled their lead when Owusu-Ansah took advantage of a defender ‘s indecision to round the goalkeeper and plant the ball into the empty goal.

The Ghana bench made two changes, bringing on Princella Adubea and Vinoria Kuzagbe for Owusu-Ansah and Laadi Issaka.

Two-nil up and the Black Maidens kept it tight though Korea still threatened as they missed two glaring chances that could have changed the game.


South Africa keen on hosting 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup

South Africa Football Association

South Africa Football Association

South Africa  has already won the right to host the 2016 U-20 Women’s World Cup, the first time a major women’s world championship will be hosted on the African continent,  and are now interested in hosting the senior event as well.

Despite interest from other countries such as Japan, SAFA boss Danny Jordaan insists the country’s track record as hosts of major events would stand its bid in good stead.

Dutch coach Vera Pauw has been recently appointed to take charge of the South Africa’s female national team, Bayana Bayana, and has been tasked to qualify the side to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada.

Africa has three slots for the World Cup and this will be decided at the African Women Championship scheduled for Namibia in October.

And Danny Jordaan believes Coach Pauw, who will be their first female trainer, will be up to the task of qualifying South Africa to the World Cup.

“We decided we wanted first a women coach for each of our women’s teams, then we wanted one of the best coaches and we when couldn’t find that internally we had to go outside and look. Pauw comes with top credentials,” Jordaan said.

“Her mandate will be to take us to the World Cup next year. Her contract will be for as long as she is successful.”

Pauw was not at Thursday’s announcement in Johannesburg but in a recorded video message she said: “We will aim high and look to make huge strides.”

She will arrive later this month and takes charge of her first match on 26 March against Namibia in a friendly.


African sides fired up for FIFA U-17 World Cup in Costa Rica

FIFA Female U-17 World Cup

FIFA Female U-17 World Cup

The 2014 FIFA Under 17 Women World Cup kicks-off in San Jose, Costa Rica and  Africa’s representatives Ghana, Nigeria and Zambia are in contention for the championship which runs from 15th March to 4th April.
Ghana and Nigeria will be making their fourth championships respectively while Zambia is making history with her finals tournament debut having overcome South Africa in the decisive qualifier.
The Shepolopolo, despite being underdogs in Group A against hosts Costa Rica, Italy and Venezuela, fancy their chances after coming off a tough qualifying final fixture and successful training camps in Lusaka and the United States of America. The Zambians open their campaign against Italy on the 15th of March in San Jose and coach Albert Kachinga says they plan to go as far as they can.
“We have prepared very well and made history by just qualifying but we want more. We have no reason to fear any team. We are in the finals to compete and ready for any team,” Kachinga said as Shepolopolo arrived in San Jose ahead of Saturday’s opening matches which will see two of Africa’s flag-bearers – Zambia and Ghana – in action in their respective groups.
Ghana, bronze winners at Azerbaijan in 2012, have lofty ambitions in Costa Rica where they hope they can do better than last time and get to the final.
Coach Evans Adottey’s Black Maidens are beaming with confidence that they can better their last bronze medal finish and make history for Africa.
“We want to break the record we set at the last World Cup. We won bronze, but we aim to be the first African team to win gold at the World Cup,” says Maidens striker Jane Ayieyam.
Ghana face Korea DPR, Germany and Canada in Group B and open their campaign against the Koreans on 15th March in the municipality of Liberia.
Nigeria have a rich history in the tournament, having twice qualified to the last eight and at the last championship in Azerbaijan, the Flamingoes’ hopes were only dashed by the lottery of post-match penalty shoot out when they lost out on a semi-final place to France. Costa Rica presents them a good opportunity to progress further.
They will have a realistic of going all the way to lift the trophy and coach Bala Nkiyu reckons that the assemblage in Costa Rica will be ready for the challenge. The Flamngoes play Mexico, Columbia and China in Group D matches.

Africa’s representatives’ Group fixtures:

15th March – Italy vs Zambia
18th March – Venezuela vs Zambia
22nd March – Zambia vs Costa Rica

15th March – Ghana vs Korea DPR
18th March – Ghana vs Germany
22nd March – Canada vs Ghana

16th March – China vs Nigeria
19th March – Columbia vs Nigeria
23rd March – Nigeria vs Mexico


CAF team inspects facilities for 2014 African Women’s Championship

Namibia 2014

Namibia 2014

A CAF delegation led by Executive Committee member, Dr Molefi Oliphant, is on a four-day visit to Namibia to inspect facilities for the 2014 African Women’s Championship (AWC).
From March 10, the delegation inspected facilities such as Stadia, Hotel and other infrastructures in the capital, Windhoek, towards the successful organization of the ninth edition of the biennial tournament scheduled from 11-24 October 2014.
They also met with Namibian Minister of Sports, Jerry Ekandjo, and other stakeholders, both in the public and private sectors on issues related to the tournament.
Dr Oliphant, president of the Organising Committee for Women’s Football was accompanied by Essam Ahmed – CAF Deputy General Secretary and Heba Abdallah – Women’s Football Manager.
Meanwhile, the seven teams to join hosts Namibia for the final tournament will be known on June 8 after the second leg matches of the final round. The contenders are Algeria – Tunisia, Ethiopia – Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire – Equatorial Guinea, Rwanda – Nigeria, Senegal – Cameroon, Comoros – South Africa and Zimbabwe – Zambia.

2014 African Women’s Championship Qualifiers First Round

Les Elephantes of La Cote D'Ivoire beat Mali

Les Elephantes of La Cote D’Ivoire beat Mali

Cote d’Ivoire overpowered Mali 4-0 in their 2014 African Women’s Championship (AWC) qualifier on Saturday in Abidjan to boost their chances.
‘Les Elephantes’ were simply too much for their West African counterparts, scoring three goals in the second half, in the first leg clash of the first round.
Jeanne Gnago opened the scores after four minutes from the spot before Estelle Nahi cemented the lead on 41 minutes. The Ivorians scored the third through Ines Tia Nrehi on 81 minutes before Rebecca Elloh signed off the win four minutes later with the fourth goal.
Elsewhere, southerners Zambia and Zimbabwe launched also their campaigns with narrow wins on Friday (February 14).
The She-polopolo of Zambia beat Tanzania 2-1 in Lusaka whilst the Mighty Warriors of Zimbabwe stunned their Botswana hosts 1-0 in Gaboroone.
 The Zambians, seeking for their first ever appearance at a major women’s championship, gave their fans a huge cause to smile with victory against the highly rated Twiga Stars.
After failing to hit the back of the net in the opening minutes, the host finally managed to put their noses in front through Hellen Mubanga on 77 minutes, tapping in from close range after Tanzania goalie Fatuma Oman had spilled a shot unto her path.
Two minutes on, an own-goal by hard-pressed defender Sophia Mwasikili extended the lead of the Zambians, before Donasia Daniel handed the visitors a lifeline with a consolation in stoppage time.
Zambia coach, Charles Bwale said of his team “I am happy with the result and the way the girls performed. We will work hard so that when we go to Dar es Salaam in two weeks’ time, we can come back with a win,”
However, his Tanzanian counterpart, Rogasian Kaijage is convinced his charges will come good in the return encounter and book qualification to the next round.
“It was a balanced match, but my girls stopped playing when Zambia scored the opening goal. The second goal killed the game completely but we managed to score one goal and that is to our advantage. We will play to win in the return match.”
In Gaborone, Violet Bepete scored the only goal to hand Zimbabwe victory at the expense of their hosts.
In Algiers, Algeria silenced Morocco 2-0 in an-all Maghrebian affair. Striker Naima Bouhani-Benziane scored in each half, 12 and 56 minutes to power the Algerians to a comfortable win.
The second leg matches will take place on the weekend of 28 February to 2 March, 2014 with the winners progressing to the second round to join African champions, Equatorial Guinea, South Africa and Cameroon, who drew a bye at the first round.
Seven teams will emerge from the qualifiers to join hosts Namibia for the final tournament from 11-24 October, also a qualifier for the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada next year.

14/2/2014 Algeria 2-0 Morocco
14/2/2014 Zambia 2-1 Tanzania
14/2/2014 Botswana 0-1 Zimbabwe
15/2/2014 Cote d’Ivoire 4-0 Mali
16/2/2014 Burkina Faso vs Ghana
16/2/2014 Egypt vs Tunisia
16/2/2014 Rwanda vs Kenya
*Guinea Bissau vs Senegal
Nigeria vs Sierra Leone*
Ethiopia vs South Sudan*
*Mozambique vs Comoros



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