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England 1 (Parris 5) Nigeria 2 (Ayila 41, Oshoala pen 59)
England's FIFA Under-20 Women's World Cup dreams are in tatters after they were beaten by Nigeria by Edmonton, despite taking an early lead through Nikita Parris.
Goals either side of half time and a penalty miss by Beth Mead meant that Nigeria picked up the result they needed to finish on top of Group C and they progress to the quarter finals along with South Korea, whilst England go out of the tournament along with Mexico.
Mo Marley made two changes to the side which had previously drawn 1-1 with Mexico, with Gabrielle George and Abbey-Leigh Stringer being selected in place of Melissa Lawley and Katie Zelem. Leah Williamson moved to left back and Hannah Blundell was pushed forward, allowing George to take her regular place in the centre of defence.
England once again started the game brightly and Jess Sigsworth almost stole in but was denied by a good point blank save by Sandra Chiichii, before the offside flag came to Nigeria's rescue.
However on the five minute mark, England got the early goal they craved. Picking up a loose ball in midfield, Blundell slid it through to Nikita Parris who was played onside and the Everton striker kept her cool to plant her shot past Chiichii and put her side in the lead.
There was a worrying moment as Beth Mead went down following a clash of heads from a clumsy challenge by Sarah Nnodim but fortunately she was able to continue.
England continued to look sharp going forward and Chiichii needed to touch away a cross with Sigsworth lurking. Mead then broke down the right and her cross looked destined to set up Parris but Chiichii just did enough, managing to divert the ball out of her path at full stretch.
Nigeria began to settle and started to cause problems at the other end. Halimatu Ayinde saw a free kick deflected wide and a mix-up in the England defence almost let in Courtney Dike before George was able to clear.
There was a let off for England as Aoife Mannion appeared to bring down Asisat Oshoala in the area when attempting to make a clearance but, to her relief, play was waved on.
Stringer tested Chichii with a low shot at the other end after being set up by Mead but Nigeria began to look stronger and stronger in attack and were rewarded four minutes before half time. Stringer initially looked to have averted the danger when winning the ball from Dike, who won it back from Martha Harris and it fell for Loveth Ayila whose shot found the net, although Lizzie Durack was likely to be disappointed at getting a hand to the ball but not keeping it out.
The earliest chance of the second half went England's way, Mead and Sigsworth combining to find Harris just inside the area but her shot was off target. Barely a minute later though, England were awarded a golden chance to go back in front when they were awarded a penalty, although admittedly a very soft one as Chiichii appeared to have made a good smothering save from Parris but was adjudged to have brought her down.
Mead stepped up to take the kick but the normally reliable striker missed the target, opting for power but blazing her shot over the bar.
Nigeria hit back with Oshoala holding off Mannion and turning in the area before her low shot was saved at the near post by Durack. However disaster was to strike just before the hour mark for Mo Marley's side.
Stringer was caught in possession on the edge of the area by Oshoala, who was brought down by George and this time Nigeria were awarded a penalty. Oshoala picked herself up to take the kick and stroked the ball into the corner of the net, giving Durack no chance.
Williamson hit a long distance shot just off target but the goal had given Nigeria a huge lift and they began to pound the England goal in search of a third. First, Sunday headed into the side netting from a free kick and the powerful striker went even closer from a Yetunde Aidelomon cross, her looping header coming back off the bar. Sherry McCue then came to her side's rescue with a brave header to block a shot from Ayinde which looked destined for the back of the net.
Ayila tried her luck from distance once again with a shot that flew straight at Durack and Oshoala fired over following more good hold up play from Sunday but Nigeria were now content to sit back on their lead and force England to find a way through.
As the game went into injury time, substitute Katie Zelem whipped in a good cross from the right but Parris' far post header was saved by Chiichii. At the other end, Mannion made a great challenge to foil Sunday as she looked poised to score, but time ran out for England and the disappointment of the players was clear for all to see at the final whistle.
It was a sad end for England in a tournament which promised so much but delivered so little. The team played very well in patches but gave away a number of sloppy goals and, after having avoided the likes of Germany, France, United States, Canada and Korea DPR in the draw, will be bitterly disappointed at not qualifying from a group when they really should have.
England: Lizzie Durack, Martha Harris, Leah Williamson, Sherry McCue (sub Katie Zelem 89mins), Aoife Mannion, Gabrielle George, Nikita Parris, Jess Sigsworth (sub Paige Williams 65mins), Beth Mead (sub Melissa Lawley 62mins), Abbey-Leigh Stringer, Hannah Blundell. Subs not used: Meaghan Sargeant, Megan Walsh, Jade Bailey, Ellie Stewart, Natasha Flint, Jess Carter, Caitlin Leach.
Nigeria: Sandra Chiichii, Ebere Okoye, Ugo Njoku, Asisat Oshoala, Victoria Aidelomon (sub Yetunde Adeboyejo 61mins), Sarah Nnodim, Loveth Ayila, Courtney Dike (sub Uchechi Sunday 45mins), Gladys Abasi, Halimatu Ayinde, Chinwendu Ihezuo (sub Uchenna Kanu 90mins). Subs not used: Jiroro Idike, Maryam Ibrahim, Patience Okaeme, Yetunde Aluko, Osarenoma Igbinovia, Ibijoke Sangonuga, Chiudo Ehiudo.
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