- Solomon Dalung has hailed Nigeria’s U-20 women's national team Falconets
- The sports minister will also splash out the $10,000 bonus he promised before China clash
- Nigeria will tackle Spain in one of the quarter-final fixtures on Thursday August 16
Nigeria’s Youth and Sports Minister Barrister Solomon Dalung has applauded the Falconets’ last minute 1-1 draw against China on Monday as marvelous.
The U-20 side netted a late minute equalizer through an own goal from a Chinese defender after a Rasheedat Ajibade's pressure to help Nigeria secure a quarter final spot at the ongoing FIFA Women’s U-20 Women’s World Cup in France.
Dalung stressed the victory over the Asian side was a result of handwork, determination and team spirit which saw the Christopher Danjuma tutored-side progress to the quarter final rounds.
“Let me once again congratulate you on behalf of His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari and the good people of Nigeria. It was a hard fought qualification and you worked so hard to earn this ticket. I had no doubt in my mind that you were going to scale through.”
Speaking further, the minister Dalung emphasised that after keeping tabs with the squad during their preparation for the tournament and against Haiti, he was confident the Falconets was going to get the needed result against the Chinese.
“I am so excited and I know that millions of Nigerians are also happy with the result,” admitted Dalung, even as he was quick to assure the ladies of that he will redeem the $10,000 pledge he made to the team before their last group match.
The minister also urged squad members to remain focused on the task ahead when they battle Spain in the quarter-final contest.
“I hope that you will be motivated by the support, prayers and goodwill which you’re receiving from Nigerians.
“Hard work is the only sure way to success. To stand a chance of returning home with the trophy, you must train and work harder.
“Having watched the team play, I’m convinced that you can go as far as the final,” added Dalung.
The Falconets face Spain on Thursday, August 16 with the winners to play either France or Japan in the semi-final.
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com previously had reported that Dalung has pledged to give the Nigerian U-20 team a bonus of $10,000 if they beat China in their final group game at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, Completesports reports.
The Falconets must avoid defeat to China if they are to reach the quarter-finals of the competition for the seventh time in nine editions.
The team are currently second in Group D with three points from two games with a superior goal-difference over their opponent.
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