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'The Bull' powers Nigeria into semifinals
August 31st, 2012 5:15PM
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TAGS:  under-20 women's world cup

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[UNDER-20 WOMEN'S WORLD CUP] There was joy for Nigeria and heartbreak for Mexico as Desire Oparanozie scored on a header in the 109th minute to give the Falconets a 1-0 win and send them to the semifinals at the Under-20 Women's World Cup for the second successive tournament.

For the most part, Nigeria dominated the match, but Cecilia Santiago, the starter on Mexico's senior national team, held off the Falconets.

Little by little, Mexico came to life, and Yamile Franco almost put it ahead in the first overtime when her free kick hit the crossbar.

Oparanozie then won the game when she scored on a header from Ugo Njoku’s cross.

"This is the most important goal of my career," she said. "I knew all eyes were going to be on me, but thank God l was able to get the decisive and most crucial goal."

Oparanozie goes by the nickname "The Bull" for her playing style similar to that of former Nigerian star Daniel Amokachi.

She started on the Nigeria team that beat the USA in the quarterfinals en route to second place, behind Germany, at the 2010 Under-20 Women's World Cup.

She also started for Nigeria at the 2011 Under-20 Women's World Cup.
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