Nigeria’s U17 Women’s national team, the Flamingoes thrashed South Africa’s Bantwana 6-0 on Saturday to secure a place at this year’s FIFA U-17 Women World Cup in Jordan.
The Flamingos started the first leg, final round qualifying fixture decided at the Abuja National Stadium in brisk fashion, taking the lead inside the opening three minutes.Fajobi Yetunde applied the finish to sound out the Bantwana ba Mzansi on a long evening ahead.
Skipper, Rasheedat Ajibade soon got in on the act with Nigeria’s second goal of the day which she prodded home following a howler by the South Africa goalkeeper, Mologadi Maluleka in the 28th minute.
The shell-shocked Maluleka was picking the ball out of her net a minute later after she made yet another mistake which enabled Ajibade to complete one of the fastest braces she will ever score in her life.
Three-nil became four, two minutes later as the Flamingoes, tasting blood, mercilessly honed in for the kill.
This time, it was Fajobi who helped herself to her second of the afternoon as the hapless South Africans imploded in spectacular fashion.
The shocking melt down of Bantwana continued as Ajibade completed her hattrick in the 32nd minute as the score line threatened to attain farcical undertones.
Bantwana managed to keep it tight for another eight minutes before Ajibade popped up again in the 41st minute to make it 6-0 to the hosts.
The South Africans continued to defend stoutly and restricted their hosts to just a handful of half chances till the end.
Nigeria will still be favourites to progress to the finals after the second leg despite the improved second half display from the South Africans.
Bantwana coach Maud Khumalo said the scoreline was a rude awakening for her charges.
“This was always going to be a tough ask of the girls considering they haven’t played an international match up to this stage, but such is football.
“I believe we gave the Nigerians too much respect in the first half. We also had a lapse in concentration and lack to communication in the first half but in the second half we played to our strengths.
“We showed that we can hold them and with more practice, we believe we have what it takes to do better in the second leg,” said Khumalo.
The second leg of the final round of the 2016 FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup will take place on 26 March 2015, at the Makhulong Stadium out in Tembisa, Johannesburg.