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France 2018: Falconets reignite hopes, beat Haiti 1-0

France 2018: Falconets reignite hopes, beat Haiti 1-0

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Festus Abu

Nigeria  beat tournament debutants  Haiti 1-0 to boost their chances of advancing to the knockout stages at the 2018  FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup   after Rasheedat Ajibade converted from the spot  in the  first half  of their Group D clash   at the  Marville Stadium in Saint-Malo, France, on Thursday.

The Falconets lost their opening fixture 1-0 to tournament favourites Germany at the same venue on Monday, and  Christopher   Danjuma’s women badly  needed a win against the Haitians to keep alive their hopes of qualifying for  the next round.

Nigeria are second in the table behind  Germany, who won the 2010 and 2014 editions of the championship at their expense, after picking up three points at Saint-Malo. Germany, who defeated China 2-0 in the other group fixture,   have six points. Nigeria and China   have three points each while Haiti are pointless.

Neither side  carved out any serious  goalscoring threat  as the encounter kicked off on blistering note.

 However, the Falconets got a penalty kick after  Haiti centre-back  Dougenie Joseph fouled Anam Imo.

Czech  centre referee Adamkova  Jana  pointed to the spot, with  FC Robo forward Ajibade sending the ball  past   Haiti goalkeeper Kerly Theus in the   36th minute.

The Caribbean team   went on the offensive after the goal and were only unlucky  not to have snatched the equaliser  when  their star player  Nerilia Mondesir hit the upright.

 They  created  more  dangerous chances through a series of  counterattacks,  but Nigeria goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie made several saves  to deny them.

Mondesir and Melchie Dumonay combined  to  threaten the Nigerian defence as they aimed to leave the pitch with something  but  Nnadozie and her defenders were equal to the challenge as they  held on for the victory.

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