Abuja - Nigeria’s Flamingoes went top of Group A at the 2012 FIFA U-17 Women World Cup with a record 11-0 victory over hosts, Azerbaijan in Lankaran on Tuesday.
The Flamingoes were simply on the rampage in the game in which the hosts were eliminated.
Nigeria’s top striker Chinwendu Ihezuo scored a whopping five of the eleven goals and assisting in another three.
After a 1-1 draw with Canada in their opening game on Sept. 22 and the Colombians beating the hosts, 4-0, the Nigerian side needed to win with a wide margin to stay atop the group.
But nobody anticipated such a massive turn of events. With Canada defeating Colombia, 1-0 earlier on Tuesday in Baku, it was clear the Flamingoes needed no further inspiration.
Ihezuo opened scores after Madel Effiom’s cross cannoned casually off the bar, and she then tapped in from a yard out after five minutes.
Three minutes later, it was 2-0, after Oluchi Ofoebu squared in from inside the box 18, to see Halimatu Ayinde squeeze her first shot under Aytaj Sharifova.
With the hosts unable to handle Nigeria’s pace and physical superiority, the third goal came when Effiom once sent a cross to Ihezuo.
Ihezuo then laid beautifully for Tessy Biahwo to fire from the edge of the box in the 20th minute.
Ayinde, then, scored her second, after laying the first on for Aminat Yakubu in the 22nd minute before Ihezuo provided yet another opportunity, two minutes later for Ayinde.
Ihezuo then doubled her own tally, after Yakubu crossed for her to put in at the far post in the 32nd minute, and her third in the 37th minute after benefiting from Ayinde’s pass.
Nigar Jalilli had two chances to score for the hosts, one drawing a fantastic save from Nigerian goalkeeper, Gift Andy who was virtually on holiday for most the game.
The tone of the game did not change at the interval as Ihezuo netted her fourth after Ebere Okoye’s through pass in the 56th minute.
Substitute, Joy Bokiri converted Ayinde’s cross to add the ninth in the 68th minute, while Ihezuo got her fifth goal, two minutes later. She headed home Biahwo’s free-kick.
The roles were reversed four minutes as midfielder Biahwo curled an effort into the bottom corner for the final goal.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the victory has taken the Flamingoes to share four points apiece with Canada. But Nigeria placed ahead of the North Americans on goals difference.
The Nigerians would need just a point from their final group game on Saturday against Colombia in Baku to advance to the quarter-finals, while Canada will take on Azerbaijan same hour in Baku.
The group winners will go on to face the runners-up from Group B, which has France, the U.S., North Korea and Gambia on Thursday, Oct. 4 in Baku.