Nigeria’s U20 national female football team, the Falconets on Saturday became the 13th side to qualify for this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in that category.
Leading in the first leg 3-1, the squad added more pains to their Senegalese counterparts’ wound by winning 4-1 in Benin City in Africa’s final qualifying round.
First leg heroine, Flourish Sebastine contributed two of the home team’s goals in the 8th and 19th minutes at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.
That overall victory means that Nigeria will feature at the world stage of this competition for the 10th time.
Among the 13th finalists, only Germany and the United States will be recording a 100 per cent appearance record when the 10th edition of the championship commences in Costa Rica on 10th August. The other two teams have between them six triumphs at the finals – Germany in 2004, 2010 and 2014; and the United States (2002, 2008 and 2012). Nigeria were runners-up twice – 2010 and 2014 – losing on both occasions to Germany.
Africa’s second flagbearers in Costa Rica are likely to be the Black Princesses of Ghana who host Ethiopia on Sunday in the second leg of the final qualification round. Ghana won the first leg 3-0 away.
Ghana, three-time African champions, have been to the global finals five times but crashed out in the first round at all times.
Other teams that will be in Costa Rica 2022 apart from the hosts are Australia, which replaced DPR Korea that withdrew from the qualifiers, 2018 champions Japan and Korea Republic (all representing Asia); Costa Rica, 2002 runners-up Canada, Mexico and the United States (all from Central, North America and Caribbean); New Zealand (Oceania), 2016 runners-up France, Germany, The Netherlands and 2018 runners-up Spain (all from Europe).
The South American qualifiers will be determined at the 2022 Under-20 Women’s Football Championship in Chile from 6th to 24th April. The two finalists will represent the continent.