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#U20WWC: Falconets beat Haiti to secure first win

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Team captain Rasheedat Ajibade ’ s first half penalty kick helped Nigeria to beat Haiti 1 – 0 on Thursday at Stade de Marville in the French city of Saint- Malo .The victory in Group D of the FIFA Under -20 Women ’ s World Cup tagged “ France 2018 ’’ helped Nigeria to secure a crucial three points and keep their knockout round qualification hopes alive.

The match , according to reports , started at a furious pace but neither side were able to put up any real goalscoring threat .

It took until the 36 th minute to see the breakthrough , with Nigeria being awarded a penalty kick after Anam Imo was fouled in the area by Haiti ’ s Dougenie Joseph .

Ajibade , who is Africa ’ s top scorer in qualifying for France 2018 , made no mistake when presented with the opportunity and converted what turned out to be the winning goal from 12 yards .

Haiti responded to going behind almost immediately but Nerilia Mondesir was denied by the post after a swift counter -attack .

The Caribbean side continued to push for the equaliser but goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie , who was later picked “ Player of the Match ’’ , proved to be equal to every challenge that came her way.

Mondesir and Melchie Dumonay took much of the initiative going forward , looking dangerous at times , but the Nigerian backline , marshalled by Nnadozie , held on for the victory .

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The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN ) reports that the win pushed Nigeria up the group ’ s table from fourth place after Monday ’ s opening matches to second place after Thursday ’ s matches .

Germany , 1 – 0 winners over Nigeria on Monday , remained firm as Group D leaders after beating China PR 2 – 0 in the group ’ s other MatchDay 2 fixture earlier at the same venue.

Nigeria now need at least a draw in their final group phase match on Monday against China PR to be able to finish second and pick the group ’ s other quarter – final ticket .

Germany face Haiti on Monday at Stade de la Rabine in Vannes in their final group phase game and look sure bets to emerge group leaders , even after a slim loss .

The Falconets can be sure of emerging group runners – up with at least a draw against China PR at Clos Gastel Stadium in Lehon , at Dinan – Lehon, even if Haiti beat Germany .

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