In football there is a slight difference between a slim win and a draw or even a loss. Chiamaka Nnadozie has been the difference for the Super Falconets of Nigeria in France.
The Falconets goalkeeper has been a standout performer since the commencement of the U20 Women’s World Cup in France, and following an exasperating win against Haiti on Thursday she revealed she expects a tougher test in the Chinese.
Against Haiti, the Rivers Angels gaolkeeper was called upon on several occasions and she responded with crucial saves especially after the Falconets took the lead in what was eventually the only goal of the game.
“It was a very tough game,” she said to FIFA.com after the 1-0 win on Thursday. “They were strong, but we’re strong as well. We played according to our coaches’ instructions and we did all we could. We fought until the end, were able to withstand the pressure and at the end of the match we won. I’m so happy.”
After a brilliant performance, Nnadozie was deservedly handed the Player of the Match award. However, it wasn’t only the FIFA technical study group who were pleased with her performance.
Apparently her team mates and the coaching staff were also proud of her as she said “After the match everybody came to me and they were very, very happy. It was so great. They came to me, hugged me and told me how well I did. They encouraged me.”
Looking ahead, Nnadozie reckons there is still a final fight to be won. Nigeria need a draw against China to go through on Monday considering their better goal difference compared to that of the Chinese.
“We have the same amount of points as China, so it’s going to be a tough match,” Nnadozie said. “It’s the final match in the group stage, so we have to try our best and give everything we have. This is the final fight.”
With Germany already qualified, Nigeria will lock horns with China in the battle for the final qualification spot on Monday afternoon.