By Victor Okoye
The Falconets were on Sunday handed a humiliating 6-0 defeat by Japan in their 2016 FIFA Women’s U-20 World Cup opener in Papau New Guinea.
Coach Peter Dedevbo’s side suffered a heavy reversal at the youth competition where they traditionally used to thrive.
A hat-trick from Mami Ueno followed by Yuka Momiki’s brace and an own goal from Mary Ologbosere compounded the woes of the Falconets at the Bava Park in Port Moresby.
Captain Sandra Chichi and top striker Chinwendu Ihezuo both made coach Dedevbo’s starting line-up, while youngster Ogechi Ukwuoma was named in the team.
Japan took long to break the deadlock through Momiki in the 34th minute, before Ueno showed predatory instincts to double the lead three minutes later.
Nigeria did well to hold their own later on, particularly after the break, with a fair spell of possession, but it was the Asians who scored again through Momiki.
An own goal from Ologbosere made the score line 4-0.
The rampaging Ueno completed a hat-trick for herself with goals in the 62nd and 82nd minute respectively.
Meanwhile, the Falconets have three days to regroup for Wednesday’s match against Canada.
The 8th FIFA Under-20 Women’s World Cup finals which kicked off on Sunday is expected to end on Dec. 3 in Papua New Guinea.