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Flamingoes coach confident of semi-final spot

27 March 2014, 11:41Israel Ojoko

San Jose - Flamingoes coach, Bala Nikyu has declared that he has a winning strategy in place to dismantle Spain for the semi-final ticket in Thursday's FIFA Under-17 Women's World Cup quarterfinal match at the Khalifa Bin Zayed Stadium in Liberia.

The match which would kick-off at 8pm local time on Thursday (3am in Nigeria on Friday), according to Nikyu, offers the Nigerian ladies the chance to continue with their excellent form at the age-grade competition.

"We would ensure that we win this game within the allotted time and we are looking at the possibility of not allowing the game to be dragged into a penalty shootout," said Nikyu who further reinstated his resolve for glory.

"Yes, I agree that Spain has been making progress since they started but they won't progress (beyond the quarterfinal) at the expense of Nigeria."

Though sounding very optimistic that the match would be won by his glory-seeking side within the regulation time, Nikyu and his assistants are not taking chances as they drill and perfect penalty kicks with the players at their last training session on Wednesday evening in Costa Rica.

It would be recalled that the hopes of Flamingoes becoming the first African team to reach the semi-finals were dashed in the last edition of the competition as they were beaten on penalties by France, who went on to lift the trophy.

"Against Spain, there won't be any margin for errors and we are paying proper attention to everything we have done and would do for this match," Nikyu further told the players.

Nikyu said he is not under any pressure, rather he has the belief that destiny already had something in store for Nigeria to win its first ever title in Costa Rica.

"All Nigeria's previous three appearances failed to yield success and we are here again in Costa Rica and I think we are destined to win this trophy," he stated confidently.

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