Francisca Ordega grabbed a hat-trick as Nigeria smashed past Italy 4-0 to qualify for the quarterfinal of the Under-20 World Cup in Japan. The Falconets thus finished top of Group B with 7 points, while Korea Republic grabbed the second quarterfinal ticket from the group by eliminating Brazil 2-0.
The Falconets will now battle host nation, Japan, Mexico or New Zealand in Thursday’s quarterfinal to be played in Tokyo. This will be Nigeria’s fifth World Cup quarterfinal qualification after they also reached the last eight in 2004, 2006 and 2008. In 2010, the Falconets made it all the way to the World Cup final only to lose 2-0 to host, Germany.
Ordega, who shone at the 2010 FIFA Under-17 World Cup, was on target in the 22nd, 40th and 47th minutes to shoot Nigeria clear in Sunday’s Group B match. She could have scored a fourth goal late in the second half, but fluffed her lines in front of an open goal.
The striker, who has now scored a total of four goals at this World Cup, will later be replaced after she picked up an injury. Nigeria’s fourth goal was scored by substitute, Osarenoma Igbinovia, in the 88th minute.