As the second round of the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup Jordan 2016 beckons, the three teams representing Africa seem to be at risk of elimination and need to preferably win their second games.
Among the continent’s flag bearers, debutants Cameroon were the first to taste action when they took on a bilingual country like themselves, Canada in an engaging Group B affair. And as was expected, experience did have the final say, with the Canucks grabbing two late goals to emerge victorious with a 3-2 score line.
In the end however, the game cannot be described as a bad first game at a FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup for the resilient Baby Lions who had come from a goal down, and were leading 2-1 until 12 minutes to go. Venezuela is up next for them and they might already have a little knowledge of what to expect having dispatched Brazil 2-0 in a pre-tournament friendly.
Ghana, the only African side to have gone beyond the Quarter Final stage, finishing third in Azerbaijan 2010, got totally demolished 5-0 by defending Champions, Japan.
Having to deal with injury blows may be a perfect excuse for coach Evans Adotey who had to go through the torture of watching the Japanese outrun and outplay his Black Maidens at the Prince Mohammed International Stadium, Zarqa on Saturday.
He is however now looking forward to some sort of redemption when they lock horns with the USA – who pounded Paraguay 6-0 in their opening game – on Tuesday.
Many had expected Nigeria to do the needful against Brazil, but they were disappointing and unconvincing as they lost 1-0 with the coach Bala Nikyu giving a classic quote afterwards.
“Because of the name that Brazil has in football, I think my players were frightened and didn’t settle to play the way we know they can.”
Will the losses now in the past, we look forward to Africa’s first victory in this new week.
Here are two quotes to keep the belief burning.
Ghana coach, Evans Adotey: “Not all hope is lost since the team still has a match to play against United States and we are hoping to beat this team.”
Nigeria Coach, Bala Nikyu: “One thing with a competition is, you cannot lose your first match and rule yourself out. Because if you remember very well, in this U17 (Women’s World Cup) Ghana, after losing their first match, won the last two matches and played up to the semi finals and won third place. That was in Azerbaijan.”