Halimatu Ayinde’s second brace of the Fifa Under-17 Women’s World Cup in Azerbaijan was enough to send Nigeria into the quarterfinals and Colombia out in a 3-0 victory.
Chinwendu Ihezuo went close early on, her bullet header going just wide as she aimed to improve on her tally of six at Azerbaijan 2012. However they had to wait until the 32nd minute to open the scoring, Ihezuo feeding Ayinde to slot beneath Lissa Cardozo.
It was a scrappy game, but one that was favouring the African side. Nigeria were being limited to few chances despite dominating possession, but last-ditch tackles and blocks were keeping Colombia in it.
Maldonado almost swung things back on level terms though, with her looping free-kick from 40 yards crashing off the crossbar on 50th minute, only for Gift Andy to recover and prevent Marcela Restrepo tapping in.
Moments later Tessy Biahwo then struck a decent free-kick of her own, but Cardozo was equal to it. Nigeria then had the ball in the net 15 minutes into the second period, but it was ruled out for a foul after Cardozo spilled a cross.
Captain Dayana Castillo almost drew Colombia level after breaking clear, only for Andy to deny her and seconds later, they were two down. Substitute Yetunde Adeboyejo combining well with Ayinde before the latter stroked the ball in off the bar.
When Diana Duarte put into her own net with a miscued header, Colombia’s last hopes were dashed, while France await the victors.
Nigeria will face Les Bleuettes of France in the quarterfinals after the European side finished second in Group B behind leaders, Korea Democratic Republic.
France compounded the woes of debutants, Gambia with 10-2 whitewash in the group last day game on Saturday.