FIFA U20 WWCQ: Falconets Brush Aside Morocco, To Face South Africa
Falconets were 5-1 better than Morocco in the second leg of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup qualifier played on Saturday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.
Saturday’s result means Nigeria sealed a 6-2 aggregate win over Morocco after a 1-1 draw played in the first leg.
Just before kickoff, a 45 –minute rainstorm swept through the stadium and environs, necessitating a delay that actually led to a meeting in which the Match Commissioner, Soudatou Djallo-Kalkaba from Cameroon had ruled that the match would be played on Sunday. However, a dramatic change in weather led to a change of heart, and the match began 83 minutes behind schedule.
Falconets started like a house on fire, with Rasheedat Ajibade, Anam Imo and Monday Gift combining brilliantly. One of those moves saw Ajibade finishing off with a simple tap –in after Gift’s cross from the left after five minutes.
Morocco pulled one back as Fatima Tagnaout gave them hope when her freekick from the right was helped into Nigeria’s net by goalkeeper Onyinyechukwu Okeke with 10 minutes left in the first period. This goal heartened the Moroccans as they ran all over the turf looking for an equalizer.
After the break, the Falconets had missed a hatful of chances before substitute Charity Reuben heaved the ball over a defender and rammed it into the net in the 77th minute.
Just as the fourth official showed three minutes of added time, Ajibade latched onto the ball and beat the Moroccan defence for pace before slotting past Benazid.
A minute later, she combined with Reuben on another counter –attack, passing to the latter to push into an empty net for Nigeria’s fifth.
The Falconets will now clash with their South African counterparts in the final round of the African qualifiers. The South Africans hammered Burundi 5-0 for a 5-2 aggregate. South Africa will host the first leg on 13th January 2018.