Nigeria have qualified for a record tenth FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica on Saturday after a 4-1 win over Senegal in Benin City.
The all-West African final round fixture saw the Senegalese suffer a 3-1 first-leg loss to the Nigerians no thanks to a hat-trick from Flourish Sabastine in Thies.
In the reverse tie, Sabastine netted a brace and a goal each from Esther Onyenezide and Joy Jerry ensured the Falconets earned a double over the young Teranga Lionesses despite Adji Ndiaye’s strike from the spot.
The Nigerians made the brightest start on their home ground as Sebastine continued from where she left off in Thies, opening the scoring with her seventh-minute strike at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium.
Red-hot Sabastine doubled the lead for the Falconets when she headed in a cross from Onyenezide in the 20th minute before the latter got on the scoresheet from the spot five minutes later.
With 3-0 down, the Senegalese came alive and pushed for a comeback until they were rewarded with a penalty which Adji Ndiaye converted to pull one back on the brink of half time.
After the restart, the two teams created numerous chances but failed to hit the back of the net until substitute Joy Jerry, who replaced Mercy Idoko was set up by Sabastine to complete the rout a minute from time.
A 7-2 aggregate win saw Nigeria confirm their tenth qualification to the global competition, where they twice emerged as vice-champions in Germany in 2010 and Canada in 2014, after clinching one of the two tickets as Africa representatives.
On the other hand, the defeat marked the end of the road for Senegal in their fourth attempt at their maiden World Cup dream.