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China pummel Falcons in pre-World Cup friendly

Nigeria’s forward Rasheedat Ajibade (L) vies with China’s defender Qiaozhu Chen during the Women’s World Cup U-20 Group D match on August 13, 2018, at the Clos Gastel stadium in Dinan, north-western France

An under-strength Super Falcons were afforded a clear view of how intense things could get at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in France this summer as they were beaten 3-0 by hosts, China in the Wuhua four-nation tournament held in Meizhou at the Meizhou Olympics Sports center yesterday afternoon.

The competition is to serve as part of Falcons’ preparations for this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup billed for France this summer, where they take on Norway, Korea Republic as well as the hosts in the group stages.

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China were in front ten minutes into the clash; midfielder, Zhang Rui beating Tochukwu Oluehi in goal for the African giants after she had parried a Gu Yasha’s freekick.

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Fifteen minutes later, Ngozi Okobi threatened an equaliser for Nigeria but her shot from the edge of the area went just wide of target.

China came knocking again at a fledging Nigeria defence just before the break and Oluehi showed quick reflexes to keep her team in the game.

Coach Thomas Dennerby summoned Brighton and Hove striker, Ini Umotong in place of a tiring Rita Chikwelu a minute past the hour mark to help provide some spark upfront.

But the move paid little dividends as the hosts scored their second moments later, Wang Shuang setting up Li Ying to produce another terrific finish.

Lou Jiahui hit the crossbar with a very good header following a cross from Li Ying with Oluehi well beaten and Onome Ebi was soon required to deny Wang Shangshan with a vital block seven minutes from time.

There was still time for Li Ying to bag a brace, finishing brilliantly at the far post after she was picked out by Wu Chengshu, compounding a very disappointing afternoon for Nigeria.

Thus, South Korea who beat opponents, Romania 3-0 in the other game will face China in the final of the tourney.

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