By Rachael Ugiagbe
Nigeria’s U-17 women national team took a huge step to qualifying for the next round of qualifiers for the 2016 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Jordan with a 4-0 defeat of Namibia.
The game was played at the Abuja National Stadium where the Flamingos lived up to expectations as they dictated the game from the blast of the whistle.
Captain Rasheedat Ajibade opened the scoring for the hosts in the 13th minute, after capitalising on an error made by Baby Gladiators’ skipper Sharon Pieters.
Flamingos kept pushing for more goals with captain Ajibade, Efih Peace, Cynthia Aku and Rejoice Ikoyo combining well on separate occasions to finding the net.
Nonetheless, their pressure soon paid off as Cynthia Aku doubled their lead on the half-hour mark, to put Flamingos in a comfortable lead.
The visitors were left with no answer when Efih Peace scored a brilliant goal from 32 meters to put the game beyond them. The match soon went into the break with Nigeria leading 3-0.
At the start of the second half, Namibia came close to reducing the deficit on two different occasions but the Flamingos’ shot-stopper Chiamaka Nnadole denied Uuezuia Beverly, while Asteria Angula headed inches wide from a Beverly’s corner kick.
Rejoice Ikoyo almost beat goalie Bastita Kasume with a long range effort but the goalie was on the alert to deny her.
The Namibian goalkeeper Kasume was again on her on toes to deny Efih Peace, after she found space from a close range but it was Ajibade who had the last goal of the game in the 67th minute thereby putting the icing on the cake.
The return leg comes up on January 22, 2016 in Windhoek, where the Baby Gladiators will be bidding to overturn a huge scoreline suffered from the first leg.