Nigeria women’s national under-20 football team, the Falconets, edged Tanzania 3-2 on aggregate to progress to the final round of the 2024 U-20 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that goals from Janet Akekoromowei and Comfort Folorunsho gave Nigeria a 2-1 win against Tanzania in the second round, second leg qualifying match in Abuja.
Both teams battled to a 1-1 draw in the first leg match played at the Azam Sports Complex in Dar es Salaam on 12 November.
The game played at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium saw the Falconets give the fans something to smile about.
The 2022 World Cup quarter-finalists, who have never been absent from the global finals, swarmed the visitors from the first blast of the whistle.
But poor marksmanship by the former U17 team striker, Opeyemi Ajakaye, prevented them from getting an early goal.
Akekoromowei eventually put Nigeria in front after 16 minutes, when she rifled home from the edge of the box after an intelligent pass from Taiwo Afolabi.
Five minutes later, the East Africans were on par when goalkeeper Shukura Bakare dropped the ball from an innocuous-looking free-kick 35 yards out and Jamila Mnunduka bundled the ball over the line.
Nigeria would have been ahead in the 25th minute, but goalkeeper Zulfa Ally Makau parried away defender Shukurat Oladipo’s well-struck free-kick from 40 yards.
Ajakaye failed to make hay with another opportunity in the 33rd minute.
On the hour mark, defender Comfort Folorunsho broke the spell of 1-1 draws for Nigeria’s national teams in recent weeks. She leapt highest to head home from Afolabi’s cross after a couple of touches from a corner kick.
The win for the Falconets ensured that they edged their Tanzanian counterparts 3-2 on aggregate to reach the final round.
The Falconets will now take on Burundi in the final round of qualifiers to determine one of Africa’s flag-bearers at next year’s global championship in Colombia.
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