Despite the outbreak of Coronavirus code named COVID-19, affecting football activities world wide, flamingos, Nigeria’s national under-17 female football team, thrashed their Guinea counterparts 5-1 at the Agege Stadium in Lagos on Saturday.
The victory ensured them to reach the final round of the African qualifying series for this year’s FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup, after an 11-2 aggregate win.
No surprises were expected from the match, following Flamingos’ 6-1 demolition of the Guineans on their home ground in Conakry a week ago.
It looked like a similar scoreline was in the offing as the home girls easily created scoring chance after chance.
But they fluffed so many of them, with Oluwayemisi Samuel and Taiwo Lawal the biggest culprits.
Samuel’s feeble shot could not trouble goalkeeper Haidara Cherif in the 16th minute, then Lawal with only the goalkeeper to beat missed chances in the 17th and 20th minutes.
Binta Conte fired over Nelly Ekeh’s goal at the other end.
But in the 28th minute, Rofiat Imuran, who netted a hat-trick in the 6-1 defeat of the Guineans in Conakry, outpaced the visitors’ defence.
She coolly picked her spot and slotted in the first goal of the day.
On the half hour, Samuel lifted the ball too high as the Flamingos rushed forward again.
But Taiwo Lawal scored in the 34th and 42nd minutes to make it a comfortable 3-0 lead for Nigeria at half-time.
In the second half, Nigeria again missed a hatful of chances, instead allowing Guinea to pull one goal back from the penalty kick spot in the 84th minute.
The goal came through Fatoumata Diallo after Oluwabunmi Oladeji handled in the penalty box.
However, there was still time for two more goals for the Flamingos, as substitute Alvine Dah-Zossu beat the visitors’ offside trap in the 86th minute.
She then beat Haidara Cherif to slot into an empty net.
Chinyere Kalu, who also scored in Conakry, wrapped up a good day’s job for the Nigerians with the goal of the day.
She heaved the ball past Cherif on the stroke of time from a 22-yard free kick.
Having qualified 11-2 on aggregate, the Flamingos will now clash with their Ghanaian counterparts in the final round of the series.
In another game, Ghana also whipped Liberia 10-0 on aggregate.
The first leg match of the Nigeria/Ghana pairing will hold in Accra in the first week of May.