Nigeria's Aminat Yakubu battles with Gabriela Martinez of Mexico during their FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup match at the Estadio Nacional on March 23, 2014, in San Jose, Costa Rica. (Photo: FIFA via Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, Costa Rica – Nigeria struck for two goals early in the first half and defeated Mexico 3-0 on Sunday in the Group D decider at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.
With tickets to the quarterfinals already booked, both teams entered the Estadio Nacional pitch on maximum points from their opening two outings.
The Africans took a 1-0 lead in the 12th minute, when Rasheedat Ajibade powered a rebound into the back of the net off an initial save by goalkeeper Emily Alvarado.
The Mexican response was swift, but Jacqueline Crowther hit the post after nearly catching goalkeeper Onyinyechukwu Okeke out of position.
In the 16th minute, a cross from Aminat Yakubu found the head of Uchenna Kanu to double Nigeria’s advantage.
Kanu returned the favor 13 minutes into the second half, crossing for Yakubu to head home and complete the scoreline.
On March 27, Mexico and Japan will square off in the quarterfinals in Liberia.