Two-time World Cup silver medallists Nigeria all but assured of a spot at this year’s FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals after a sterling performance condemned Senegal’s U20 girls to a 3-1 defeat on home ground in Thies on Saturday evening.
Effervescent winger Flourish Sebastine, who plays her club football for Edo Queens, hit a hat-trick in the encounter at the Stade Lat-Dior and left no questions about the Falconets’ enthusiasm and determination to fly Africa’s flag in Costa Rica in five months’ time.
The nimble-footed forward started the carnage as early as the 9th minute, and then hit two quick goals in the second half as Senegal, who reached this stage after penalty shoot-out defeat of Mali in the fourth round, fell totally apart.
Togolese referee Vincenta Amedome offered the hosts a consolation goal from the spot in the 89th minute, after captain Oluwatosin Demehin had tripped a Senegalese forward in the Nigerian box.
The Falconets produced a masterclass performance with silky touches, good positioning, on-field aptitude and proficiency.
The return leg will take place at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin City on Saturday, 26th March.