By Ikenna Okonkwo
Flamingos Head coach, Bala Nikyu has explained that very extreme weather conditions affected his wards when they face their Ethiopia counterparts during the first leg of 2018 FIFA U-17 Women World Cup qualifier at the weekend.
Coach Bala who spoke shortly after he led his team back to Abuja disclosed that at half time while the game was on, the Nigerian girls that had only two weeks to prepare barely survived the cold-packed climate in Addis Ababa.
According to Bala who is also Wikki Tourist of Bauchi handler, “Weather basically was the major reason why my players didn’t play as I expected. Personally, we went to win in Ethiopia but the result didn’t turn out the way we expected. After the first half, my players struggled to go back and continue with the second half.
“Even when they managed to go back to the pitch, they almost collapsed. We hope to start training early enough now we are back before the return leg.”
The return leg comes up at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City on Saturday, 16th December 2017, with the winner on aggregate to take on the winner of the Cameroon/Algeria fixture in the second and final round of the series. Cameroon defeated Algeria 4-0 away in Algiers last Friday.
The 6th FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals will hold in Uruguay between November 20 and December 13 2018. Nigeria’s Flamingos have been an ever – present at the competition since it was launched in New Zealand in 2008.