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Falconets land in Dakar for battle with Senegal

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Nigeria’s U20 girls, Falconets, arrived in the Senegalese capital, Dakar on Wednesday ahead of their 2022 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup final round, first leg clash with their Senegalese counterparts.

The two –time World Cup runners-up have amassed a total of 18 goals in five matches in this long qualifying series, jettisoning Central African Republic, Republic of Congo and Cameroon on the way. Against the Central African Republic, the Falconets hit seven goals away and four at home, before lashing the Congolese girls 4-0 in Brazzaville, leading to the Congolese Football Federation opting not to fly their girls to Nigeria for the return leg.

Cameroon’s U20 girls showed muscle and strength in their first encounter with the Nigerian girls in Douala to end it 0-0, but fell by three goals at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja to crash out of the race.

The Senegalese girls reached this final qualifying round after edging the Mali U20 girls 5-3 on penalty shoot-out, with both teams tied 1-1 at the end of the two-legged fourth round fixture.

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Head Coach Chris Danjuma settled for his usual suspects in the 23-girl list, including goalkeeper Monle Oyono, captain Oluwatosin Demehin, defenders Oshobukola Omowumi, Oluchi Ohaegbulem and Jumoke Alani, midfielders Esther Onyenezide and Adoo Yina, and forwards Mercy Idoko, Joy Jerry and Blessing Okpe.

Saturday’s clash at the Stade Lat-Dior in Thies (outside Dakar) will kick off at 4.30pm Senegal time (5.30pm Nigeria time).

Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Football has appointed Togolese official Vincentia Amedome as referee for the match. She will be assisted by compatriot Abra Agbedanou (assistant referee 1), and Mauritanians Mariem Chedad (assistant referee 2) and Aissata Amadou Lam (fourth official).

Sabine Marie Isabelle Zoungrana from Burkina Faso will serve as the match commissioner.

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Goalkeepers: Nelly Ekeh (Sunshine Queens); Monle Oyono (Bayelsa Queens); Inyene Etim (Abia Angels)

Defenders: Oluwatosin Demehin (Rivers Angels); Omowunmi Oshobukola (Edo Queens); Rofiat Imuran (Rivers Angels); Jumoke Alani (Edo Queens); Motunrayo Ezekiel (Naija Ratels); Oluwabunmi Oladeji (Nasarawa Amazons); Oluchi Ohaegbulem (Confluence Queens); Chidinma Ogbuchi (FC Robo Queens)

Midfielders: Bashirat Amoo (Nasarawa Amazons); Esther Onyenezide (FC Robo Queens); Adoo Yina (Nasarawa Amazons); Deborah Abiodun (Rivers Angels); Chinyere Kalu (Nasarawa Amazons); Anuoluwapo Salisu (Bayelsa Queens)

Forwards: Joy Jerry (Bayelsa Queens); Mercy Idoko (Nasarawa Amazons); Flourish Sebastine (Bayelsa Queens); Taiwo Lawal (FC Robo Queens); Blessing Okpe (Rivers Angels); Tessy Ojiyovwi (Nasarawa Amazons)

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