Two goals each by top scorer Rasheedat Ajibade and Charity Reuben helped Nigeria’s U20s Falconets on Saturday as they advanced to the final round of qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup courtesy of a 6-2 aggregate win over Morocco.
The Nigerians had held their opponents to a 1-1 draw in Sale two weeks ago before beating the North Africans 5-1 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.
Saturday’s return leg started about ninety minutes behind schedule after a torrential downpour almost caused the game is called off but the Match Officials opted to wait for the pitch to sufficiently dry off.
Nigeria took the lead within the opening five minutes through their inspirational attacker Ajibade, her sixth goal of the qualifying series before Monday Gift made it 2-0 on the quarter hour mark.
The Moroccans were dragged back into the contest ten minutes to the break after goalkeeper Onyinye Okeke allowed Fatima Tagnaout’s free kick slip through her.
Nigeria had to wait till the final thirteen minutes of the game before a brace by Reuben, sandwiched by another Ajibade goal confirmed Nigeria’s passage to the final round of the qualifiers.
In the final round, the Falconets will face the Basetsana of South Africa who overcame a 2-0 first leg deficit and outclassed Burundi 5-0 at the Dobsonville Stadium.
South Africa will host the first leg on January 13 before the return leg in Benin City and fortnight later. Winner over two legs will qualify for the 2018 World’s Women Under-20 Championships in France.