Nigeria and Ghana edged closer to the India 2022 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup qualification with the final round, first leg victories over Ethiopia and Morocco respectively on Friday.
The West African duo got one hand on the tickets as the Nigerians pipped Ethiopia 1-0 in Addis Ababa, while the Ghanaians defeated Morocco 2-0 in Accra.
At Abebe Bikila Stadium, the Flamingos were looking to gain an early lead but they could not find a breakthrough until Opeyemi Ajakaye broke the deadlock with her 36th minute strike.
Kumneger Kebede, Emush Daniel and Bethelem Germa came close to finding an equaliser but Nigeria’s defence and goalkeeper Faith Omilana were rock solid to snatch the win.
Ajakaiye’s sixth goal in five qualifying matches was all Bankole Olowookere’s side needed to claim the first leg advantage and also extended their clean sheet in the qualifying tournament to five matches.
With the first leg lead, the Nigerians will seek to complete their qualification bid when they welcome the East Africans for the second leg at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja on June 4, 2022.
Elsewhere, in Accra, the Black Maidens relied on goals from Stella Nyamekye and Nancy Amoh to secure a comfortable lead over the Moroccans at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Nyamekye handed the West Africans a first half lead after just 18 minutes of action before Nancy Amoh struck in the 65th minute to ensure the Ghanaians inched closer to a qualification ticket.
The first leg 2-0 result puts Baba Nuhu’s side in the driving seat ahead of the second leg showdown with the North Africans at the Prince Moulay Al Hassan Stadium in Rabat on June 4, 2022