Nigeria’s Falconets beat France 1-0 on Friday in Group D’s opening match at the 2022 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.
The only goal was scored late into the second half of the match by the Falconets’ Flourish Sabastine.
Coach Christopher Danjuma had picked team captain Oluwatosin Demehin and 20 others to wear Nigeria’s colors at the 19-day championship.
The Falconets had to scale the hurdles presented by the Central African Republic, Congo, Cameroon, and Senegal, winning six of seven matches (they only drew with Cameroon in Douala) to be eligible to fly Africa’s flag once more at the finals in Central America.
Nigeria will play France, Canada, and Korea in Group C of the 16-nation, which begins August 10, while 2018 runners-up Spain tango with hosts Costa Rica, Australia, and Brazil in Group A. Africa’s other representatives Ghana are up against holders Japan, The Netherlands, and three-time champions United States in Group D.
Germany, who have also won the competition three times, including 2010 and 2014 when they beat Nigeria in the final, will play Colombia, New Zealand, and Mexico in Group B.
All group phase and quarter-final matches will be played at the Alejandro Morera Soto, which is a hybrid of natural and synthetic grass called stitched grass. The semi-final, final and third place matches will take place at the Estadio Nacional.