Panafrican News Agency

India 2022: Ajakaiye powers Nigeria past Ethiopia in Addis Ababa, Ghana beat Morocco 2-0

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - Nigeria's Under-17 ladies took a step toward qualifying for the World Cup with a 1-0 first-leg win away to Ethiopia on Friday.

Prolific striker, Opeyemi Ajakaiye, took her goals tally to six in the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup African qualifying series when she scored the only goal as Nigeria edged hosts Ethiopia in Addis Ababa.

Reports from the Ethiopian capital said that in the final-round, first-leg duel, staged at the Abebe Bekila Stadium, both sides failed to make hay from a number of opportunities in the first half-hour, but the lithe forward struck in the 36th minute after she was put through by diminutive midfielder Taiwo Afolabi.

The goal meant that Ajakaiye had scored in each of the Flamingos’ five matches of the qualifying series so far, including a brace against the Democratic Republic of Congo in a 5-0 spanking in Benin City.

Omowunmi Bello, who scored three of the goals in Nigeria’s 6-0 aggregate thumping of Egypt in the earlier round, came close to increasing her own tally in the campaign, only to see her 35–yard shot smack the upright in the 50th minute.

Kumneger Kebede, Emush Daniel, and Bethelem Germa all had chances to equalise for the hosts in the second period but met with an unyielding Nigerian rearguard and an inspired goalkeeper Faith Omilana who had an excellent game.

Both teams will clash again at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, on Saturday, 4th June, with the winner on aggregate qualifying as one of Africa’s three representatives at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup finals in India.

In other matches, hosts Ghana defeated Morocco 2-0, while the game between hosts Cameroon and Tanzania will take place on 22 May. All second-leg engagements will take place in he firs week of June.

-0- PANA VAO 20May2022