Goals from Aitana Bonmatí and Patricia Guijarro handed Spain a 2-1 win over Nigeria in the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup France 2018 quarter final match at the Stade Guy-Piriou on Thursday afternoon.
Spain progressed through to the semi-finals having registered their fourth victory of the tournament and will now face the winners of the clash between France and North Korea.
Just six minutes had passed before Carmen Menayo got her first shot away – a 25-yard free kick which was saved by goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie.
Spain had the better of the opening stages and troubled Nigeria’s backline with their movement and intensity.
Their spell of pressure and possession paid off in the 12th minute when captain Bonmatí curled home an unstoppable effort.
Igboamalu Chinyere went close in the 18th minute as the attacker drifted past her marker before seeing a shot blocked by Catalina Coll, while Chidinma Okeke was not too far away with an header from inside of the area.
Bonmatí drilled a free kick which hit the cross bar as Spain ran rings round the Nigerians.
Guijarro then saw her effort saved by Nnadozie after moving past two Nigerian defenders.
Before the first half had come to a close Spain doubled the lead, Guijarro drilled past Nnadozie after beating the offside trap.
After the restart, both teams showed their intent to score with Okeke being superbly denied by Coll from five yards .
In the 56th minute, however, Nigeria reduced the deficit. Peace Efih started the move by playing in Rasheedat Ajibade who advanced into the penalty area before delivering a low shot which was parried to the path of Efih in the box where the Edo Queens midfielder was able to slide in and convert from three yards.
Ajibade and company continued to bang on the door as the game moved into its dying embers, but Spain held firm to cap off a remarkable defensive showing in order to seal victory and move into the last four.