Stage set for semifinals of U-17 Women's WC

Nigeria play Colombia in first match, Spain take on German challenge in second
(From L TO R) Colombian player Ortegon Juana and coach Carlos Paniagua and Nigerian coach Bankole Olowookere with player Blessing Emmanuel.
(From L TO R) Colombian player Ortegon Juana and coach Carlos Paniagua and Nigerian coach Bankole Olowookere with player Blessing Emmanuel. Franky Gracias

The stage is set for the semifinals of the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup on Wednesday at the Nehru stadium in Fatorda.

Nigeria will take on Colombia in the first semifinal at 4.30 pm, while the Germans play Spain in what is expected to be a high-octane match at 8 pm.

In the pre-match press conferences on Tuesday, the teams appeared excited to take on each other and get to the finals to win the prestigious crown -- the U-17 Women's World Cup.

The Colombian coach Carlos Paniagua said it was a beautiful opportunity for the country to win the cup and he was very proud of his players for coming this far in the tournament for the first time.

Paniagua said there was an awakening back in the country to play football and, for this cup, they had travelled thousands of kilometres to see amazing results so far.

Colombian player Ortegon Juana said it was a moment of happiness for all of them and they "will go into the match with their morale high."

(From L TO R) German captain Jella Veit and assistant coach Julia Simic and Spanish coach Gonzalo Kenio and player Sandra Villafane.
(From L TO R) German captain Jella Veit and assistant coach Julia Simic and Spanish coach Gonzalo Kenio and player Sandra Villafane. Franky Gracias

The Nigerian player Blessing Emmanuel too said the team morale was high and the girls were in high spirits to make it to the final of the prestigious tournament.

Nigerian coach Bankole Olowookere said the team is all ready to play the semifinal and they are working at it. Right now our plan is to make it through the semifinal and then work on a strategy for the final, he added.

The Fatorda stadium is likely to see a good number of people attending both matches, especially the second one at 8 pm between Spain and Germany.

At the press conference today, the German assistant coach Julia Simic said the team had gone through some tough challenges, especially the game against Nigeria, which was a close one.

Simic said the girls were outstanding in the game against the Brazilians and asserted they are now looking forward to the semifinal against Spain.

The Spanish team coach Gonzalo Kenio and player Sandra Villafane also addressed the media.

(From L TO R) Colombian player Ortegon Juana and coach Carlos Paniagua and Nigerian coach Bankole Olowookere with player Blessing Emmanuel.
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