Nigeria’s U17 girls, Flamingos were imperious as they trounced their counterparts from Guinea 5-1 at the Agege Stadium, Lagos on Saturday to reach the final round of African qualifying series for this year’s FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup.
No surprises were expected following Flamingos’ 6-1 demolition of their Guineans on their home ground in Conakry a week ago, and it looked like a similar scoreline was in the offing as the home girls easily created chance after chance at theSoccer Temple. But they fluffed so many of them, with Oluwayemisi Samuel and Taiwo Lawal the biggest culprits.
Samuel’s feeble shot could not trouble goalkeeper Haidara Cherif in the 16thminute, then Lawal with only the goalie to beat missed chances in the 17thand 20thminutes.
Binta Conte fired over Nelly Ekeh’s goal at the other end, but in the 28thminute, Rofiat Imuran, who netted a hat-trick in the 6-1 defeat of the Guineans in Conakry, outpaced the visitors’ defence, cooly picked her spot and slotted in the first goal of the day.
On the half hour, Samuel lifted the ball too high as the Flamingos rushed forward again, but Taiwo Lawal scored in the 34thand 42ndminutes to make it a comfortable 3-0 lead for Nigeria at half time.
In the second half, Nigeria missed a hatful of chances, instead allowing Guinea to pull one goal back from the penalty spot in the 84thminute through Fatoumata Diallo after Oluwabunmi Oladeji handled in the box.
However, there was still time for two more goals for the Flamingos, as substitute Alvine Dah-Zossu beat the visitors’ offside trap in the 86thminute before beating onrushing Haidara Cherif to slot into an empty net. Chinyere Kalu, who also scored in Conakry, wrapped up a good day’s job for the Nigerians with the goal of the day, heaving the ball past Cherif on the stroke of time from a 22-yard free kick.
Having qualified 11-2 on aggregate, the Flamingos will now clash with their Ghanaian counterparts in the final round of the series, after the latter also whipped Liberia 10-0 on aggregate. The first leg will hold in Accra in the first week of May.
Pictures By : Tobi Adepoju