Ghana and Nigeria are on course to maintain their enviable record of qualifying for every edition of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup since its inception in 2008.
The West African duo look set to continue with their run in the global cadet ladies tournament, with their places almost secured among the continent’s trio for the fifth edition of the biennial championship due for Jordan later in the year.
Ghana’s Black Maidens, who boast of the best record by an African side at the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, third place in Azerbaijan in 2012, beat their Moroccan counterparts 4-0 in Rabat, all but securing their place for Jordan ahead of the return leg in a fortnight in Accra.
Mukarama Abdulai scored a first half brace whilst Rafia Kulchirie scored in between to give the Ghanaians a 3-0 lead at the interval. Sandra Owusu-Ansah wrapped up victory with the fourth goal on 71 minutes.
The Flamingos of Nigeria were ruthless against South Africa’s Bantwana beating them 6-0 in Abuja, and almost putting the latter’s dream of another appearance at the global championship since 2010 go up in flames. Captain Rasheedat Ajibade bagged four goals whilst a brace from Yetunde Fajobi sealed victory.
“I believe we gave the Nigerians too much respect in the first half. We also had a lapse in concentration and lack to communication in the first half but in the second half we played to our strengths.
“We showed that we can hold them and with more practice, we believe we have what it takes to do better in the second leg,” Bantwana coach Maud Khumalo was quoted by the South African Football Association website.
The continent will have a new representation in either Cameroon or Egypt, who are fighting for the other slot. Cameroon beat Egypt 2-1 in Douala in a game that recorded all three goals in the first half. Alexandra Takounda and Dominique Djoubi scored for Cameroon whilst Noha Tarek pulled one back for Egypt before the break.
The second leg will take place in a fortnight with the winners qualifying to represent Africa at the final tournament fixed for 30 September to 21 October 2016 in Jordan.
Saturday, 12 March 2016