The Nigerian ladies crashed out of the tournament in the quarterfinals, paving the way for the Spaniards to romp to a historic triumph
The 2022 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup ended early on Monday morning, with Spain beating defending champions Japan 3-1 in the final at the Estadio Nacional de Costa Rica, San José.
The Spanish ladies were unbeaten throughout the tournament and showed their class against the Asian queens to lift their first-ever World Cup title at this level.
In the third-place match played on Sunday night, Brazil took the Netherlands to the cleaners, thrashing the Europeans 4-1 to claim the competition’s bronze medal.
It would be recalled that the Netherlands accounted for Nigeria’s exit from the World Cup tournament in the quarterfinals.
The Orange Ladies flogged the Falconets 2-0 on August 21st to send the African queens on a difficult journey back home.
The Netherlands were, however, stopped in the semifinal by Spain after succumbing to a 2-1 defeat to the eventual champions on August 25.
The final rankings at the tournament placed Nigeria in fifth place as the best of the quarter-finalists.
The Falconets won three games and lost just once, scoring five goals and conceding three for a plus-two goal difference.
Exciting Nigerian youngster Esther Onyenezide finished joint-third on the goalscorer chart with three goals.
The teenage attacking midfielder fell behind tournament top goalscorer Spain’s Inma Gabarro (7 goals) and Japan’s Maika Hamano (4 goals).
Nigeria have never won the U-20 Women’s World Cup. The Falconets have finished as runners-up twice, though, in 2010 and 2014.