Head coach of Nigerian National Under-17 women’s football team, Bala Nikyu has attributed the team’s 1-1 draw against Ethiopia on Sunday to the East African nation’s weather.
Nikyu’s Flamingoes went ahead in the first leg second round qualifying fixture through Joy Jerry in the 20th minute but were pegged back just after the hour mark when Tarikow Debiso’s free kick flew past goalkeeper Christiana Obia.
The Nigerians, ever-present at every FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Championships barely held on till full time in what was a cold condition in Addis Ababa. Nikyu who has been in charge of the past two Flamingoes side gave an appraisal of the match to www.theNFF.com and admitted they must do better in the second leg. “The weather did not help but I don’t like to give excuses for my team’s performance. We have to work very hard when we return to Nigeria, ahead of the return leg. We must be more potent in attack and find a way to curtail the Ethiopians,” Nikyu submitted.
The second leg comes up in the Nigerian southern city of Benin City in a fortnight where Nigeria will be looking to advance to the next stage of the qualifiers. Should Nigeria scale the Ethiopian hurdle in Benin, they will likely face neighbours Cameroon in the final round of qualifiers next February after the Cameroonians beat Algeria 4-0 away from home on Friday. Three teams will represent Africa at next year’s World Championships to be staged in Uruguay.