Nigeria’s Flamingoes opened their Jordan 2016 campaign in the worst possible fashion with a hard-fought 0-1 loss to Brazil at the King Abudullah II Stadium in Amman.
A brilliant chip by the South Americans’ Micaelly proved the difference between the teams and gives Luizao’s side an early advantage in Group Cin the U-17 Women’s World Cup.
Brazil were the more cohesive and inventive side and, initially at least, simply lacked a cutting edge to complement their fine approach play.
Indeed, in spite of their early dominance, the South Americans had their goalkeeper to thank for keeping them on level terms when the game’s first big chances were created.
Twice within a few seconds midway through the first half, Kemelli was called upon to deny Nigeria.
She first tipped wide a Mary-Ann Ezanagu chance and then leapt to her left to claw out Christy Ucheibe’s effort from the resulting corner kick.
Nonetheless, Brazil remained the better side and it was no more than they deserved when Micaelly gave them a 41st-minute lead.
Nigeria’s goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie initially looked to have averted danger when, with Ana Votira racing through, she charged from her goal to clear at the striker’s feet.
However, Nnadozie’s clearance landed straight at the feet of Brazil’s Micaelly.
But, even with two covering defenders in her way, Micaelly had the skill and composure required to measure an inch-perfect chip over their heads and into the Nigerian net.
Sadly, there was nothing in a disappointing second half to match that moment of magic, with tough tackling more prevalent than skill or invention.
Brazil, though, will simply be happy to have emerged with a win that leaves them well placed in a section that also includes England and Korea DPR.
Both England and North Korea drew 3-3 in the other Group C match to leave Nigeria at the bottom of the group’s table.
Nigeria will next play England on 4 October.