The Falconets of Nigeria have defeated the Under 20 female team from Senegal 4 goals to 1 at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin to qualify for the under 20 world cup holding in Costa Rica in August this year.
Edo Queens striker Sabastin Flourish, opened the scoring for the Falconets in the 7th minute after dribbling past goalkeeper Adji Ndiaye to slot in into an open net, sending the Benin fans into celebration.
Sebastian Flourish again headed into the net a right flank cross from Esther Onyenezide in the 19th minute to make it 2 for Nigeria, before she was brought down in the 18-yard box in the 21st minute to give Nigeria a penalty which was converted by Esther Onyenezide in the 24th minute after one initial cancellation due to goalkeeper leaving her line.
Just before half time break, the Senegalese pulled one back after Falconet defender Jumoke Alani brought down striker Hapsatou Diallo in the 18-yard box, which was converted by the Senegalese goalkeeper, Adji Ndiaye.
Several goal-scoring opportunities were missed in the second half which produced only 1 goal in the 88th minute. The goal was scored by substitute Joy Jerry in her first touch of the game with an assist from star girl, Sabastin Flourish.
Speaking at a post-match conference, Head Coach of the Falconets, Christopher Danjuma, expressed joy in the performance of the girls throughout the qualifying series, promising that “Nigerians should expect a good outing in Costa Rica. We have had a plan all along and that plan is what has taken us here.
The technical crew will review the plan and make changes where necessary as we are going to a bigger stage.
‘I believe the goal of the under 18 and Under 20 team is to groom players for the National team. If you look at this team and the Flamingos, they are all home-based players or at least 90 per cent home-based players. So we expect that at the End of the world cup, some players will join the Supper Falcons from this team so we can stop over depending on foreign-based players for our senior teams,’ Danjuma added.
Speaking with reporters after the game, Edo State Deputy Governor, Philip Shaibu, congratulated the girls for their victory and qualification to the world cup, noting that ‘it is a thing of joy to know that our girls got their qualification from the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Edo is a place of Luck for our teams and when you come here you will always win, because God resides in Edo and when you come to play in Edo and call on God, God will answer you, and the God of Soccer is always with us.’