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FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup 2022: Nigeria Beat USA On Penalties To Qualify For Semifinals First Time

Nigeria became only the second African nation to qualify for FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup semifinals. Ghana entered the last four stage in 2012.

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Nigeria players celebrate after qualifying for FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2022 semifinals.
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Nigeria beat USA 4-3 in penalty shootout to become only the second African country to qualify for the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup semifinals in Navi Mumbai on Friday. (More Football News)

The two sides were locked 1-1 in the regulation time of the quarterfinal match at the DY Patil Stadium, which was delayed by nearly two hours due to adverse weather conditions. The match, which was to begin at 4:30pm, started at 6:20pm IST.

In an evenly-contested match, Nigerian Omamuzo Edafe's 27th minute goal was cancelled out by Amalia Villarreal's 40th minute strike for the Americans. In the penalty shootout, Edidiong Etim, Edet Offiong, Miracle Usani and Omamuzo Edafe scored for Nigeria while Folorunsho missed the target.

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For USA, who had topped Group A to make it to the quarterfinals, Emeri Adames, Taylor Suarez and Mia Bhuta scored, while Emri and Jackson missed from the penalty spot. It was heartbreak for the Americans, who finished runners-up in 2008.

The CONCACAF champions were considered to be a side which would go deep into the tournament. This was only for the second time, the first being in 2008, USA have gone past the group stage. The Americans were playing the tournament for the fifth time, including third consecutive appearance.

Nigeria, on the other hand, made it to their maiden semifinal in their sixth attempt. The African champions had earlier lost thrice in the quarterfinals -- in 2010, 2012 and 2014. Ghana was the only African country to have made it to the semifinals -- in 2012 -- before Nigeria achieved the feat on Friday. Nigeria had finished second behind Germany in Group B.

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Meanwhile, Germany too made it to the last four with a 2-0 win against Brazil in the other quarterfinal despite being hit by COVID-19. Germany's head coach Friederike Kromp on Friday tested positive hours before the match.

She is also the first COVID-19 case in the ongoing tournament and was isolated. She did not sit in the team dug out and was replaced by her Melanie Behringer as head coach while Julia Simic acted her assistant on the sidelines.  

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