Ghana, Nigeria soar into finals

Ghana and Nigeria will represent Africa at the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Germany later this year. It will be a first time for the Ghanaians while Nigeria keep up their long-standing record of having participated in all of the past editions of the championship.

Nigeria hammered South Africa 7-0 in Sunday’s second leg of their final round tie for an emphatic 12-3 aggregate success. Ghana were more economical in front of goal, but a 3-0 triumph on Friday in Accra ensured an easy passage over the Democratic Republic of Congo, who had been to the last two World Cups. Ghana won 5-0 on aggregate after winning 2-0 in the first leg in Kinshasa a fortnight ago.

Faizer Ibrahim, Elizabeth Cudjoe and Florence Dadson scored the goals in the return match at the Ohene Djan Stadium in the Ghana capital. The Black Princesses were two goals up at half-time and Dadson’s strike completed the scoring in the second stanza.

Falconets finish the job in style
Nigeria had expected a tougher fight against South Africa but romped through with two goals each from Ebere Orji and Glory Iroka in the seven-goal spree. Orji scored her double early on in the game to effectively kill off any hopes of a comeback that the South Africans might have had.

The Falconets, coached by Adat Egan, were in devastating form, and they were five goals to the good by the half-time break after Orji and Iroka’s goals as well as one from defender Gloria Ofoegbu. Ugochi Oparanozie and substitute Uchechi Sunday, with a penalty, added two more in the second half at the National Stadium in Abuja, where the new men’s national team coach Lars Lagerback was in the crowd.

It means that in their four qualifying matches, Nigeria notched up an impressive tally of 22 goals, six of which came from Sunday and five from Orji. Zimbabwe were easily disposed of in the first round by a 10-1 aggregate margin as Nigeria continued their dominance of the continent’s women’s football. They have played at the previous competitions in Canada (2002), Thailand (2004), Russia (2006) and Chile two years ago.