Nigeria’s U-20 women’s football team, the Falconets, secured a convincing 1-0 victory over Burundi on Saturday, earning a spot in the 2024 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup with a 2-0 aggregate win at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja.
Both teams adopted a defensive strategy in the first half to ensure their qualification hopes. Despite their efforts, neither side managed to find the net in the opening half.
In the second half, the Falconets displayed determination to overcome Burundi’s resilient defence, and their efforts were rewarded in the 79th minute. Esther Ajakaye scored the crucial goal after being set up by substitute Mary Lucky Mkpa, breaking the deadlock for Nigeria.
Although Ajakaye found the net again in the 90th minute, the goal was disallowed by the referee for offside. Nonetheless, the Falconets held on to secure a 1-0 victory as the referee brought the game to an end.
With this result, Nigeria has earned a place in the finals of the 2024 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, scheduled to take place in Colombia from August 31st to September 22nd.
Nigeria, having finished as runners-up in the 2010 and 2014 editions and reaching the semi-finals in Japan in 2012, is set to compete for top honours in the 11th edition of the championship. The 2024 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup marks the third time Colombia will host a FIFA tournament and the first FIFA women’s tournament hosted by the country.