The Nigerian Falconets crashed out of the FIFA U-20 women World Cup in France after suffering a 2-1 defeat to Spain at Stade Guy Piriou in Concarneau on Thursday.
Spain booked their spot in the semi-finals of the tournament after first-half goals from Aitana Bonmati and Patri Guijarro gave La Rojita a 2-1 victory over Nigeria in the quarter-finals..
The Falconets earned the ticket to the quarter-finals after a 1-1 draw in their final Group D game against China on Monday to escape being eliminated early from the tournament.
Nigeria lost to Germany 1-0 in their opening game, defeated Haiti 1-0 and managed to scrape through to the last eight after a late own goal by China’s right-back, Jiaxing Dou led the girls to the knockout stage.
The Spaniards who topped their group with seven points after two wins and a draw looked the more likely side to carry the day as they dominated play from the blast of the referees whistle.
It had therefore not come as a surprise as they went ahead as early as the 13th minute when Bonmati’s left footed drive beat Chiamaka Nnadozie in goal for Nigeria..
And the Spaniards could have even doubled the lead as Bonmati’s well struck free-kick struck the underside of the Nigerian crossbar and bounced away to safety, while Eva Navarro forced a point-blank save from Nnadozie moments later.
Spain eventually doubled their lead before the break, with Patri Guijarro scoring her fifth goal of France 2018 after getting on the end of Maite Oroz’s free-kick into the Nigeria box in 47 minutes added time.
Having struggled to create much in the first half, the Falconets responded with a goal just before the hour mark when Rasheedat Ajibade ’s long shot hit the bar. Peace Efih ’s would then pounce on the resultant loose ball to pull a goal back for Nigeria in the 57th minute.
Nigeria was unable to find an equalizer, as Spain saw out the remainder of the contest to reach the last four of this competition for the first time.
The Falconets who defeated Spain 2-1 at the last edition of the tournament in Papua New Guinea failed to repeat the feat..