U20 Women's World Cup Qualification Africa

U20 WWC Qualifiers: Sebastine’s hat-trick boosts Nigeria vs Senegal

03:32 EAT 13/03/2022
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Christopher Danjuma’s side secured an impressive win in Thies to increase their chances of qualifying for Costa Rica 2022

The Nigeria team overpowered Senegal 3-1 in Saturday's 2022 Fifa U20 Women's World Cup fifth round, first leg qualifier.

Flourish Sebastine's hat-trick helped the Falconets silence their hosts at Stade Lat-Dior in Thies.

Heading into the encounter, the West Africans had overcome Cameroon 3-0 on aggregate, while the Senegalese team edged Morocco 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 aggregate scores

Knowing that victory would boost their chances of advancing, Christopher Danjuma's side began the game on a fine note as Edo Queens forward Sebastine put Nigeria ahead in the ninth minute.

Even at the deficit, the hosts were not adventurous going forward as they put up a defensive display while relying on counterattacks.

Their first real opportunity came in the 27th minute but that effort was saved by goalkeeper Monle Omini Oyono.

The Falconets continued to push forward for more goals but they missed some clear-cut opportunities.

Four minutes before the hour mark, the visitors doubled their advantage as Sebastine tucked home a cross from Mercy Idoko.

Six minutes later, she completed her treble from the penalty spot after a foul by captain Marere Babou in the danger zone.

With five minutes left on the clock, referee Vincenta Amedome awarded Senegal a penalty after Hadji Ndiaye was brought down by the goalkeeper Oyono. Ndiaye stepped up to convert the ensuing kick.

Nigeria can earn a World Cup place with a draw or any one-goal defeat in the second leg billed for the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City on March 26.

Only two teams will represent Africa at the global football showpiece slated for August 10-28, 2022.

Since the start of the competition in Canada 2002, the Falconets have participated in all editions of the Fifa U20 Women's World Cup.

Their best performance was a second-place finish at the 2010 and 2014 editions, staged in Germany and Canada, respectively.

In 2012, they returned home as the fourth-best team having bowed 2-1 to hosts Japan with Yoko Tanaka and Asuka Nishikawa scoring the goals for the Asians at the National Olympic Stadium in Tokyo.

Initially, the tenth edition was cancelled due to the outbreak of Covid-19.

Japan are the reigning world champions. They defeated Spain 3-1 in the final of the 2018 edition played at the Stade de la Rabine in Vannes.