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Swiss referee for Nigeria, U.S. semi-final clash

03 September 2012, 14:23

Abuja - A Swiss referee, Esther Staubli, will be at the centre for the semi-final match between Nigeria and the U.S. at the ongoing U-20 Women’s World Cup in Japan.

The Media Officer of the U-20 women national team, Falconets, Ejiro Babafemi, disclosed this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

`` Esther Staubli, who handled the Argentina versus Canada group match, will be in charge of Tuesday’s encounter that comes up at 8 a.m. Nigerian and 4 p.m. Japanese time.

``Staubli has been a referee since 2000,, but became internationally acclaimed in 2006,’’ the statement said.

The Falconets defeated Mexico 1-0 in the 19th minute of the extra time to get to the semi-finals, after both sides recorded no goal at the end of the regulation time.

The statement added that penalty shoot-out dominated Monday's training of the Nigerian team ahead of the match on Tuesday.

It said the coaching crew was not taking anything for granted since it was through penalties that Nigeria defeated the Americans two years ago in Germany.

Nigeria knocked out the U.S. 4-2 on penalties in the quarter-final in Germany two years ago, after regular time ended 1-1.

``Anything can happen at this stage, even though we have always practiced penalties during our training sessions.

``But this time, we felt it is pertinent to step up the tempo because of the possibility of the match going into extra time," it quoted Coach Edwin Okon as saying.

It attributed the team’s success to determination and renewed spirit, noting that most of the mistakes observed in the previous matches had been corrected

``We had four days to work on the players’ weaknesses and strengths, after the quarter-final match, and I can say that the response from them had been very encouraging," it said.



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