13 January 2018 – The South African U20 women’s national team’s dream of booking a place in this year’s FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in France suffered a blow after going down 2-0 to Nigeria on Saturday, 13 January at the Old Peter Mokaba Stadium in Polokwane.
Two first half goals by Rasheedat Ajibade and Anam Imo saw the visitors gaining a healthy goal advantage ahead of the second leg in two weeks’ time.
From the onset, the visitor dominated play with Imo and Christy Uchiebe dictating terms in the middle of the park. Nigeria were the first to ask questions as early as the second minute as Basetsana keeper, Mapaseka Mpuru pulled off a brilliant save to deny Ajibade.
Even with the backing of the crowd, the hosts hardly troubled the visiting side who pressed them high to keep them in their own half and deprived them of their usual passing game.
A lapse of concentration in the 30th minute saw Ajibade’s cross come finding the back of the net to give the visitors the lead.
The goal gave propelled the visitors forward and they were rewarded five minutes later with a good finish from close range by captain, Anam Imo after a good build up from the Falconets.
Coming into the second half, the visitors kept things neat and tidy, opting to park the bus and frustrate the South Africans who found it difficult to break the stubborn Nigerian defence.
The two sides lock horns again on Saturday, 27 January in the return leg to determine who secures a place in the world showpiece set to take place in France between 3 and 24 August.