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Tuesday, October 3, 2023

FIFA U-17 WWC: Poor start leads to Tanzania’s elimination at the quarterfinal stage

Tanzania will not join fellow African side Nigeria in the semifinals of the 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in India after falling to a 3-0 defeat to Colombia in their quarterfinal matchup on Saturday. Linda Caicedo and Yesica Muñoz scored in the opening twenty minutes for Colombia before a straight red card to Tanzania’s Zainabu Ally in the 23rd minute eliminated any chance of a comeback for the Serengeti Girls. Gabriela Rodríguez’s penalty kick conversion towards the end of the first half wrapped up the scoring as Colombia will now face Nigeria on Wednesday for a spot in the final.

The Colombian team showed their class in the opening minutes with excellent play from all involved on the opening goal in the third minute. Rodríguez provided a sumptuous through ball to send Caicedo in on goal and the Colombia captain cleverly lifted her finish over advancing Tanzania goalkeeper Zulfa Makau for an early Colombian lead.

Tanzania did have a couple of half chances in the next ten minutes and were able to push forward but the Serengeti Girls’ momentum was quickly put to a halt by Colombia’s second goal in the 17th minute. Cristina Motta put in an early cross from the left wing to find Muñoz, who sent a firm bouncing header that skipped off the wet turf and just beyond Makau’s dive before going in off the post.

The match was all but over five minutes later when Ally came in on Juana Ortegón with a stomping challenge that was initially ruled a yellow card but changed to a red card after the Video Assistant Referee intervened. After Colombia appeared to score their third goal towards the end of the second half the goal was deemed offside but Makau had tripped up Muñoz and VAR awarded a penalty kick, which Rodríguez converted with ease to make it 3-0. Tanzania went on to compete well and create opportunities but the deficit was too much to overcome in the end.

Highlights are below.