The seventh edition of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup will kick off on Tuesday, October 11, in India.
Having qualified alongside two other African nations (Morocco and Tanzania), Nigeria will be represented by the national women’s cadet team, the Flamingoes. It will be Nigeria’s sixth appearance at the Mundial.
But how did the Flamingoes fare in their previous five outings?
New Zealand 2008
Nigeria was among the 16 national teams present at the first edition of the world youth championship.
But despite beating South Korea 2-1 in their opening match, the Flamingoes crashed out at the group stages after losing 1-0 to England and drawing 2-2 with Brazil.
Trinidad and Tobago 2010
Nigeria reached the quarterfinals of the competition for the first time in 2010.
The Flamingoes finished top of Group A, amassing the maximum points following wins over hosts Trinidad and Tobago, Chile, and North Korea.
But in the knockout stage, eventual champions South Korea edged the West Africans 6-5 after extra time in what remains one of the tournament’s most exciting games.
The Flamingoes repeated their quarterfinal feat in Azerbaijan in a tournament where Ghana finished third.
Nigeria again finished top of Group A with seven points ahead of Canada, Colombia, and hosts Azerbaijan.
But the country’s hope of a deeper run was halted by eventual champions France. 5-3, it ended on penalties after full-time scores stood at 0-0.
Super Falcons star Halimatu Ayinde emerged from that tournament, while current Nigeria international Toni Payne lined up for the United States.
Costa Rica 2014
For the third consecutive tournament, Nigeria made it out of the group stage as group winners, outclassing Mexico, China, and Colombia.
Atletico Madrid ace Rasheedat Ajibade and Uchenna Kanu were two of Nigeria’s brightest stars in Costa Rica.
But they were no match for the tactical prowess of Spain in the quarterfinals.
The Europeans handed Nigeria a 3-0 defeat in front of 3,406 spectators at the Estadio Edgardo Baltodano Briceño in Liberia.
For the first time in the history of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, Nigeria finished bottom of their group.
The Flamingoes drew one and lost the other two of their matches against North Korea, Brazil, and England.
It was also the first time Nigeria would not score a goal in the tournament. It is also the Flamingoes’ last appearance at the World Cup.
The team did not qualify for Uruguay 2018, with Ghana, Cameroon, and South Africa representing the black continent.
The 2020 edition of the World Cup was cancelled after the global outbreak of the coronavirus.
India 2022 will run from October 11 to 30, with Nigeria classed in Group B alongside Germany, Chile, and New Zealand.
Nigeria’s first match will be against the European giants.
Nigeria’s 18-woman squad to India 2022
Goalkeepers: Faith Omilana; Linda Jiwuaku; Jessica Inyiama
Defenders: Olamide Oyinlola; Josephine Edafe; Comfort Folorunsho; Miracle Usani; Tumininu Adeshina; Blessing Sunday; Alase Attervall; Immaculata Offiong
Midfield: Chidera Okenwa; Blessing Emmanuel; Mary Aderemi; Bisola Mosaku; Taiwo Afolabi
Forward: Omowunmi Bello; Opeyemi Ajakaye; Edidiong Etim; Alvine Dah-Zossu; Yetunde Ayantosho
Head coach: Bankole Olowookere