The captain of the Under-17 women's team of Nigeria Alvine Dah-Zossu has asked fans to put behind Wednesday's semi final defeat against Colombia as the team is fully focused to claim the prize in the third place playoff.
"I want to apologize to our fans that believed in us. We have picked ourselves up and will do all we can to win the bronze medal [against Germany]," said Alvine.
Playing a more chiselled and sleek brand of football will go some way in placating the fans as the Flamingos have lacked panache in the way they went about their business thus far.
If they indeed manage to grab the bronze medal against Germany on Sunday, at least they would have managed to equal Ghana’s achievement at this level. Additionally, they would finally break the hoodoo hanging of the Flamingos as the only age grade Nigeria team across gender yet to attain a podium finish in Fifa tournaments.
Exactly 10 years ago in Azerbaijan, a delicious solitary goal from Priscilla Okyere was all it took for Ghana to claim 3rd place in that year’s Under-17 women’s world cup. And who were the opponents? You guessed it: Germany.
So, the German ladies will be eager to avoid West African thunder striking them twice whilst the Flamingos of Nigeria will have to weather German storm if they are to prevail.
I have to apologise to whoever is offended but the Flamingos’ brand of football in this tournament has been nauseating at times.
Average to poor first touches, clumsy and haphazard movements, disjointed choreography, rudimentary attacking initiatives and all round approach that fails to capture my imagination and leaves me ‘not’ yearning for more.
But, one thing they have that worked for them in this tournament is impeccable work ethics and excellent work rate. What they did might not have been beautiful but it was effective in giving all their opponents headache.
These girls can be really proud of themselves, whatever the outcome of Sunday’s game and a vast majority of fans are proud of them.
They were let down by a horrible system that fails to truly harness they skills and potentials of talents available to the coaches. What coaches? Coaches that are chronically one dimensional. But, the coaches too deserve credit for at least leading the girls this far.
Good luck on Sunday, to the ladies. We fans love them all!