Abuja - The Nigerian under-20 women football team, the Falconets, on Saturday in Abuja whipped their South African counterparts 6-0, scoring three goals in each half of the match.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the match was the first leg tie in the African final qualifying round for the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup.
The match played at the Abuja National Stadium saw Asisat Oshoala opening scoring in the third minute, with Patience Okaeme doubling the lead two minutes later.
Yetunde Adeboyejo extended the lead in the 26th minute to end the first half 3-0 in favour of the Falconets.
The Nigerian side started the second half as strongly as they did in the earlier half, taking control of the game with Grace Winifred’s goal in the 51st minute.
Uchechi Sunday who came in as a substitute took the match beyond the visitors in the 70th minute, while Halimatu Ibrahim added another goal in the 89th minute.
At the end of the game, Peter Dedevbo, the Falconets coach, said he was very excited about his team’s performance.
“My players were well focused to win this final round. So, going to South Africa for the second leg match will now be just to consolidate on the goals we have scored in the first leg,” he said.
Dedevbo said he was sure his team would definitely qualify and represent Africa at the World Cup, having now known the strength of the South Africa team.
Sheryl Botes, the South African team’s coach, blamed the weather for her players’ performance, saying “the weather was too hot for them”.
The coach however said her team did not expect to be beaten with six goals, even though they were well aware that the game was going to be a tough one.
“We were not expecting six goals, even though we knew it was going to be a tough and tactical game,” she said.
Botes acknowledged that the Falconets had a very good team which was well experienced and physically stronger than her team.
“But we will now have to prepare hard for the return leg,” she said.
The coach singled out for commendation the Falconets’ Asisat Oshoala, saying she was very good, tactical and very strong.
“The Falconets team is physically stronger than my team, and the players are also grounded tactically and well experienced.”
‘But Oshoala is a very good player. She is well grounded tactically. In the return leg, she will be a threat to us. But we will make sure we win that match,” Botes said.
NAN recalls that the Nigerian side had gone through the earlier rounds of the qualifiers with emphatic victories.
They had beaten Sierra Leone 16-0 aggregate in the first round, and Tunisia 8-0 aggregate in the second round, to qualify for the final round.
NAN reports that the winners of the Nigeria/South Africa pairing will join another African side and 14 others at the seventh edition of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
It will take place in Canada from August 5 to August 24, 2014.