U20 WWC: Falconets send Haiti packing

Rasheedat Ajibade netted the only goal as Nigeria got their U20 FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign on track with a 1-0 victory over Haiti in Saint Malo on Thursday.

Goalkeeper Kerly Théus was called to duty as early as one minute when she dived at full stretch to make a save from Rasheedat Ajibade’s cross.

Haiti played with confidence and passed the ball around as they took the game to the two-time finalists.

The two teams reduced the tempo as they resorted to the tactical route for about eight minutes.

Ajibade, Monday Gift and Anam Imo cut frustrated faces as they were starved of the ball by the physical Haitians.

The energetic Sherly Jeudy bombarded her way to the box, but goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie did well to grab the ball after mistiming it.

Nigeria was awarded a penalty kick when Imo was fouled in the box by Dougenie Joseph.

Skipper Ajibade kept her cool to convert the spot kick, sending Théus the wrong way in the 36 minute.

Nérilia Mondésir saw her effort come off the crossbar when Peace Efih’s clearance arrived at the path of the forward.

A deadly pass from Roseline Eloissaint caused a moment of scare in the Falconets’ defence line.

Haiti was unruffled in their approach. They came out in numbers. Melchie Dumonay whipped a brilliant free-kick which was well taken by Nnadozie.

Ajibade should have made it 0-2 to the African team but she flashed her shot wide of the post after a mistake by Théus.

The game ended the same way although the Carribean nation showed more intent.

The victory takes Nigeria to second behind Germany due to superior goal difference to China.

The Falconets must avoid defeat against the Asians on Monday to progress to the quarterfinal.