Baby Gladiators stumble against mighty Nigeria

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Abuja

Namibia’s junior women’s football team, known as the Baby Gladiators, will have a mammoth task to fulfill when they host Nigeria in the return leg of the 2016 FIFA Women U-17 World Cup preliminary in Windhoek on January 22.

The Namibians suffered a humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of the Nigerians in the first leg at the National Stadium in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, on Saturday.

Nigerian skipper Rasheedat Ajibade opened rout in the 13th minute, with Cynthia Aku doubling the hosts’ lead 12 minutes before the end of the first half, before Efih Peace added goal number three on the stroke of half-time with a wonderful effort from 32-metres out.

Coach Mervin Mbakera’s half-time pep talk proved to be a motivating game-changer as the Namibians started to exert themselves in the second half, but it was the hosts who added a fourth goal on 67 minutes through inspirational captain Ajibade.

Namibia’s starting line-up against Nigeria: Batista Kasume, Veronica Van Wyk, Anna Shaende, Sharon Pieters, Helena Shuumbwa, Ignacia Haoses, Beverly Uueziua, Asteria Angula, Yvonne Kooper, Julia Rutjindo and Kylie Van Wyk. Subs: Selma Enkali, Ashley Solomons, Shanice Daries and Mbitjita Mungunda, Kylie Style, Vanessa Noreses and Vitjitua Tijvau.

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