WELCOME TO PORT OF SPAIN, TRINIDAD.
Welcome to the opening fixture of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Trinidad and Tobago 2010 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Port of Spain.
Today’s first game pits defending Champions North Korea against Nigeria.
1min: The referee blows his whistle to get the game going and the defending champs have ball possession at this point in time.
3min: Nigeria scores. Ngozi Okobi beats the offside trap and places a well-timed left-footed past the diving Kyong Im Choe in goal for North Korea.
6min: Another opportunity on goal by Nigeria but the Koreans is saved by the uprights as the ball deflects off it and rebounds into play.
13min: The game is being played at a lively pace but Nigeria has been having the better of the exchanges with quick ball movement and spirited running off the ball. The Koreans are yet to live up to their champion’s status
17min: Although Trinidad and Tobago is not involved in this match the Hasely Crawford Stadium is a virtual sea of red as the football fans continue to file into the stadium. You can hear a loud roar of approval every time Nigeria wins the ball of goes forward suggesting that the fans are supporting the African nation unit.
24min: Kim Su Gyong collects a ball on the edge of the 18 metre box but an advancing Amina Abu cut down the angle and pulls off a brilliant save to deny the Koreans.
28min: North Korea 1 Nigeria 1. Kim makes amends for her earlier miss by placing her shot beyond the reach of Abu to level the score at one goal apiece.
33min: The pace of the game has slowed a bit as the stadium is being graced with a light drizzle of rain. Kim takes another attempt on goal but her effort is just wide of the upright.
37min: The tempo of the game has been reduced to a walk as Korea has a throw deep in their own half. The referee spots and infringement on the throw and awards a free kick to North Korea.
40 min: The stadium lights have been turned on as it has become a bit overcast. However, the mood on the inside is one of anticipation. Nigeria on the attack as they swing the ball from left to right. They eventually lose possession and now it with the Koreans.
45min: The fourth official indicates that there will be two minutes of additional time for this period. One of the Nigerian players goes down and is taken to the sideline by members of their staff.
47min: Referee signals the end of the first half of what has been a pretty even match.
The Nigerian substitutes can be seen warming up on the filed by playing a quick game of touch passing. Meanwhile, the fans are using the opportunity to get some refreshments. All in all, the atmosphere is quite sedate, no one initiating the Mexican wave or getting the Ole! Ole! Ole! Chant going, however, patrons continue to stream into the venue.
The players are back out on the field and the referee Kirsi Heikkinen blows her whistle to signal the start of the second period of the game.
49min: The defending champs begin this session with a bit more purpose and Kim Nam Hui has an angled shot on goal which is smothered by goalkeeper Abu.
58min: Korea scores. Some lapse defending by Nigeria allowed Kim Kum Jong to collect a pass from Kim Nam Hui right in front of goal, leaving her with the simple task of just tapping home.
60min: Nigeria makes two substitutions after conceding that soft goal. North Korea on the other hand continues to dominate possession as they seek to put away their opponent.
65min: A left side corner for Nigeria results in a header at goal by Yetunde Aluko which is effectively dealt with by the opposition’s defence
72min: North Korea makes a substitution as Han Hyang Suk comes on and O Hui Sun comes off.
74min: Nigeria misses out on a golden opportunity as a cross from deep on the right wing eludes the Korean defence and rolls nicely for Winifred Eyebhoria, however, her final effort is angled wide of the goal.
77min: Nigeria scores. Francisca Ordega beats her marker to a long looping cross and controls the ball well under pressure to hit a rocket past Choe Kyong Im. The goal is met with a loud roar from the crowd.
79min: Nigeria 3 North Korea 2. Nigeria turns on the heat and adds a third goal when Okobi forces her way between two defenders to beat Kyong Im with a low shot to her right. The stadium continues to throw their support behind Nigeria, applauding each effort delivered by the African outfit.
86min: Nigeria on the attack again with Aluko but her shot sails over the crossbar, much to the disappointment of the fans
90min: Nigeria has dominated play over the past twenty minutes and this was evident by a 40-metre effort by UgoNjoku which sailed over the bar but not before giving Kyong Im some anxious moments. The fourth official signals three minutes of additional time.
90+3: Referee Heikkinen blows and point to the centre circle signaling the end of the encounter. This evokes a loud cheer from the crowd and the Nigerians are warmly applauded as they take a lap of honour.
Final Score: Nigeria 3 ( N. Okobi 2, F. Ordega 1) vs North Korea 2 (K. Kum Jong 1, K. Su Gyong 1)