Nigeria U-20 women’s national team, the Falconets, have secured qualification for the 2024 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
The team achieved a 2-0 aggregate victory over Burundi in the final qualifying round.
In the second leg match played at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja on Saturday, January 20, 2024, the Falconets won 1-0, with Esther Ajakaye scoring the decisive goal in the 79th minute, assisted by Mary Mkpa.
This victory, combined with their earlier 1-0 win in the first leg courtesy of a goal from Janet Aikekoromowei, sealed a 2-0 aggregate win for Nigeria.
With this qualification, Nigeria becomes the first African team to secure a spot at the 2024 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
The Falconets will be making their 11th appearance at the tournament, maintaining their record as one of the four countries (alongside the United States, Brazil, and Germany) to have participated in all editions of the competition.
On their way to the 2024 World Cup, Nigeria received a bye in the first qualifying round, had an effortless victory in the second round after Mauritius withdrew, and overcame Tanzania in the third qualifying round with a 3-2 aggregate score before defeating Burundi.
Nigeria’s best record at the U-20 Women’s World Cup remains second place finishes in 2010 and 2014.
In Africa, Cameroon, Ghana, and Morocco secured an advantage over Egypt, Senegal, and Ethiopia in their respective first-leg fixtures and will join Nigeria at the mundial should they avoid defeats in the return legs.
The 2024 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup is scheduled to be hosted by Colombia from August 31 to September 22, 2024, featuring 24 teams with Europe contributing the highest number of participating teams (5).