Nigeria’s Bello & Efih reflect on U20 Women’s World Cup quarter-final berth

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The Falconets duo inspired the nation to qualify for the last eight of the competition and are looking back at their hard-fought passage

With Nigeria through to the last eight of this year’s U20 Women’s World Cup, Aishat Bello and Peace Efih reflects on their miraculous progress after a 1-1 draw with China on Monday.

Before their final group D tie with the Asians, the Falconets recorded a narrow 1-0 win over Haiti after a 1-0 loss to Germany before a late own-goal saw the Asians bow out in Dinan-Lehon.

And the 18-year-old substitute, who provided the cross that resulted to the late equaliser, revealed what inspired her well-timed cross that saw them edged the Chinese at the Stade du Clos Gastel.

“It was not easy. I was on the bench and I was thinking that maybe we had lost the game,” Bello told FIFA.com

“But I gave myself confidence that we were not going to lose this game and that I have to do my best when I get on to get the result.

“I was thinking that one of my players was going to be there. The good thing was my player [Ajibade] was there to finish for me, so I was very, very happy.”

On her own part, Efih disclosed that her side’s unrelenting spirit was behind their late fight back against China and is confident that will see them beyond Spain on Thursday.

“The match was very important and we wanted to win the match,” said the Falconets midfielder.

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“We wanted to make sure we went through, that’s why we fought to the end. In the second half, we just had to push and keep the spirit of the team moving. It’s all about winning, it’s all about fighting to the end.

“The quarter-finals won’t be easy, but we will fight to the finish. We believe in putting out our best every time. With our togetherness, we believe we will get somewhere.”

Nigeria will hope for a repeat of their 2-1 comeback win against the Europeans at the 2016 edition in Papua New Guinea when they meet in the quarter-finals in Concarneau on Thursday.

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