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Nigeria U20

U20 WWC Qualifiers: Nigeria hit Congo for four

20:51 SAST 2021/12/05
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Christopher Danjuma’s side secured an impressive win in Brazzaville to boost their chances of qualifying for Costa Rica 2022

The Nigeria U20 women's team overpowered Congo 4-0 in Sunday’s 2022 Fifa U20 Women’s World Cup third round, first leg qualifier.

Goals from Mercy Idoko, Flourish Sebastine, Esther Onyenezide and Deborah Ajibola helped the Falconets silence the hosts at the Stade Alphonse Massamba Debat in Brazzaville.

Heading into the encounter, the West Africans had overcome the Central African Republic 11–0 on aggregate., while the Congolese edged Egypt 4-2 over two legs.

Christopher Danjuma’s girls began the name on a bright note but were unable to convert the begging chances that came their way.

Although the hosts were not adventurous going forward, they put up a solid defensive display to cage the West Africans’ strikers.

Nonetheless, Nigeria took the lead in the 38th minute courtesy of Idoko, who profited from a moment of sloppiness from Congo.

Two minutes into the second half, the visitors doubled their advantage thanks to Flourish before Onyenezide increased the lead three minutes later from the penalty spot.

Even at the lead, the Falconets continued to push forward for more goals. That desire became a reality as Ajibola made it four with five minutes left before the hour mark.

Nigeria need to avoid a convincing defeat in the second leg – billed for the Mobolaji Johnson Arena Lagos on December 18 – to earn a place in the fourth round.

Only two teams will represent Africa at the global football showpiece slated for August 10–28, 2022 in Costa Rica.

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 being 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 billed for Costa Rica in 2021, 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.