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FIFA U-17 WWC: Nigeria defeat Germany in penalty shootout for third place

Typically third place games are looked upon with scorn at senior competitions but there was plenty to play for when Nigeria and Germany faced off for the bronze at the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup on Sunday in India. After a thrilling 3-3 draw in normal time that saw the Germany side come back from three goals down, Nigeria managed to emerge victorious 3-2 in the penalty shootout to complete a historic success for the Flamingos at the competition.

Germany got off to an energetic start and appeared to score inside the opening five minutes but Nigeria were saved by a Video Assistant Referee review before Nigeria goalkeeper Faith Omilana was saved by her crossbar on a long range effort from Germany’s Mathilde Janzen. The Flamingos escaped the opening quarter hour unscathed and then hit Germany on the break in the 20th minute when Opeyemi Ajakaye snuck behind her marker on the right flank and drove in on goal, her shot squeezing through keeper Eve Boettcher.

Amina Bello doubled Nigeria’s lead soon after halftime by floating a header from a corner kick above and beyond the reach of Boettcher. Edidiong Etim appeared to put the match away in the 63rd minute by scoring following another corner kick but it was far from over. Germany surged back with three goals in the final twenty minutes through Jella Veit, Paulina Bartz and Loreen Bender to complete an astounding comeback and send the match into penalty kicks. However, while Nigeria converted their first three attempts the German effort was hampered by misses on the second and third kicks before Bartz missed her team’s fifth attempt to confirm the Nigerian victory.

Highlights from the Third Place match are below.

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