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HomeSportU20: Nigeria Qualify For 2024 FIFA Women’s World Cup

U20: Nigeria Qualify For 2024 FIFA Women’s World Cup

Nigeria’s U20 girls, Falconets, have earned a place at this year’s FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals after a goal by Opeyemi Ajakaye eventually brought down hard-fighting Burundi in a final round, second leg encounter at the MKO Abiola National Stadium on Saturday evening. This tallied to a 2-0 aggregate victory for Nigeria in the final round of the qualifying race in Africa.

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The Falconets had won the first leg 1-0 in Dar es Salaam six days ago.

As was the case in the first leg in Dar es Salaam, the Nigerian girls created opportunity after opportunity, but failed to put them away to make their vast superiority count. As early as the 2nd minute, Opeyemi Ajakaye, who was top scorer for the FIFA U17 World Cup bronze-winning Flamingos two years ago, volleyed wide when it appeared easier to score.

In the quarter-hour, Chiamaka Okwuchukwu swung the ball into the visitors’ box from the wing, but the team’s leading scorer Janet Akekoromowei failed to convert the opportunity. It was Okwuchukwu’s turn to miss in the 34th minute, when she could not convert a pull-out by Ajakaye.

Eight minutes after the restart, Ajakaye went on a solo run into the visitors’ eighteen-yard box, only to end with a weak shot that was easily collected by goalkeeper Amissa Inarukundo.

The deadlock was broken in the 78th minute by Ajakaye, who made hay with an assist by Akekoromowei. Ajakaye scored again in the 90th minute but the goal did not stand. The result put the Falconets through to the final tournament in Colombia later this year.

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