Nigeria Women’s U20 qualify for Colombia 2024 World Cup

Nigeria Women's U20 national team, the Falconets, secured their spot at the FIFA Women's U20 World Cup on Saturday evening after defeating Burundi Women's U20.

The 1-0 win in the final leg tie of the qualifying round secured a 2-0 aggregate victory for the Falconets, following their other 1-0 triumph in the first leg in Dar Es Salaam a week ago.

The first-leg win was sealed by a Joy Akekoromowei penalty in the first leg, setting the stage for the Falconets to finish off the tie in Abuja. Coach Chris Danjuma fielded a strong team for the second-leg encounter.

First half of missed chances

Despite a bright start, Burundi held firm for most of the first half, thwarting Nigeria's attempts to score. Chiamaka Okwuchukwu and Janet Akekoromowei missed chances that came their way as the first half ended goalless.

Nigeria Women's U20 qualify for Colombia 2024 World Cup
The NFF

In the second half, the Falconets maintained their attacking momentum. Okwuchukwu had another opportunity in the 70th minute, but her close-range shot failed to find the net.

Ajakaye sends Nigeria Women's U20 through

The breakthrough finally came in the 79th minute when substitute Mary Mkpa set up Esther Ajakaye to break the deadlock.

Falconets
Photo – The NFF

Ajakaye doubled the lead after Mkpa provided an impressive pass, but the goal was ruled offside.

Ultimately, it didn't affect the outcome as the Falconets secured a 1-0 victory, making it 2-0 on aggregate and earning their ticket to the FIFA Women's U20 World Cup.

The 2024 edition of the tournament is scheduled to take place in Colombia from August 31 to September 22.

Nigeria's Starting XI: Anderline Mgbechi (GK), Jumoke Alani, Oluchi Ohaegbulam, Adoo Yina, Shukurat Oladipo, Rebecca Adegbemile, Esther Ajakaye, Chiamaka Okwuchukwu, Chioma Olise, Olushola Shobowale, Janet Akekoromowei

Nigeria Women’s U20 qualify for Colombia 2024 World Cup
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a seasoned Africa sports journalist, and a former Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 national team. He is widely acknowledged as an authority on the NPFL and African football, Randa is esteemed for his expertise in football content creation. Furthermore, he holds the distinction of being Nigeria's foremost sports kit designer and a trailblazer in the realm of sports graphics in Nigeria.