The Flamingos are in a good position to qualify for the U-17 world cup finals taking place in India this year after beating Ethiopia by a lone goal in Addis Ababa.
Prolific striker Opeyemi Ajakaiye scored her sixth goal on Friday in the ongoing African qualifying series to seal victory for Nigeria.
In the final round first leg match staged at the Abebe Bekila Stadium, both sides failed to convert a number of opportunities in the first half-hour, but the productive forward struck in the 36th minute after she was put through by diminutive midfielder Taiwo Afolabi.
The goal meant Ajakaiye had scored in each of the Flamingos’ five matches of the qualifying series so far, including a brace against the Democratic Republic of Congo in a 5-0 spanking in Benin City.
Omowunmi Bello, who scored three of the goals in Nigeria’s 6-0 aggregate thumping of Egypt in the earlier round, came close to increasing her own tally in the campaign, only to see her 35 –yard shot rock the upright in the 50th minute.
Kumneger Kebede, Emush Daniel and Bethelem Germa all had chances to equalize for the homers in the second period but met with an unyielding Nigeria rearguard and an inspired goalkeeper Faith Omilana who had an excellent game.
Both teams will clash again at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Saturday, 4th June. The winner on aggregate will qualify as one of Africa’s three representatives at the tournament in India.