India 2022: Flamingos Thrash Egypt U-17 girls 4-0 in Abuja as Morocco maul Niger 11-0

By Harry Awurumibe, Africa’s No.1 Women’s Football Journalist

Flamingos line up before the match against Egyptian girls in Abuja

The U-17 women’s football team, Flamingos were in devastating form on Sunday as a brace from Omowunmi Bello and a goal each by leading goalscorer Opeyemi Ajakaiye and defender Miracle Usani gifted Nigeria a 4-0 victory over the Egyptian U-17 side in the first leg of their third round FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup African qualifying match  at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja.

Enterprising Ajakaiye set the Flamingos on the road to victory when she netted the opener in the 28′, which was her fourth goal of the qualifiers with an angled shot that beat Egypt’s  goalkeeper Habbiba El Taher fair and square.
Hardworking Bello made it two goals for Nigeria in the 38′ through a header off darting Tumininu Adeshina’s well struck corner kick as the defender  had herself flashed a shot into the side-netting earlier in the encounter  before Ajakaiye also drew applause with a snap shot after chesting the ball outside the 18 yard box. The first half ended 2-0.

Celebration Time. ..Flamingos players celebrating one of their goals against Egypt U-17 girls at MKO Abiola National Stadium Abuja

On resumption, the Flamingos continued their dominance as it was in the first leg  and were rewarded for their efforts with the third goal in the 54′ as Usani fired home with a low shot from the edge of the box.

To ensure that the second leg in a fortnight in Cairo, Egypt is a mere academic exercise, the coach Oloowokere Bankole tutored Flamingos got the fourth goal through Bello who fired beyond on rushing Egypt keeper to grab her brace and the Flamingos fourth goal in the 62′.

Egyptian girls

However, the Egyptians did put up a stiff resistance in the encounter especially earlier on as the handful Laila Zaher, aided by her captain Nadia Ramadhan got the better of the Nigeria defence and forced goalkeeper Faith Omilana into a save, before the ball was cleared out of danger.

They also fought to the end of the final whistle even as the Egyptian delegation especially the technical crew gave Center Referee Natacha Konan from Cote d’Ivoire and her assistants hectic time following their constant protestation which earned one of the coaches a yellow card at the touchline.
With the 4-0 first leg advantage Nigerian girls have one leg in the final round of the African qualification series just as both teams clash again in Cairo on April 30, with the winner billed to meet Ethiopia or South Africa.
Elsewhere, Ethiopia trounced hapless  South Africa 3-0 away from home on Saturday while Zambia also lost 0-2 to Cameroon at Nkoloma Stadium, Lusaka just as Burundi were walloped at home 4 -0 by Tanzania at
Stade Urukundo, Ngozi
Also, Guinea U-17 girls were thrashed 3-1 by Ghana at General Lansana Conté Stadium,Nongo while the heaviest defeat recorded over the weekend was suffered by lowly Niger Republic U-17 girls that lost 0-11 to Morocco’s U-17 girls at Stade du Général Senyi Kountche, Niamey.
Morocco’s Aissata Cherif scored four goals in the 9′, 54′, 66′ and 78′ while teammate Fatia Yasmine scored a hat-trick in 45′, 60′, 74′ respectively.
Chahia Madani  scored a brace 20′, 30′ and Basra Khlifi 88′ and Janine
Sioui 90+2′ completed the coupe d’ grace as Morocco have made the return leg a mere football rituals. The return leg matches will hold in the last weekend of April.

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