Dominican Republic 2024: Flamingos eager to grab World Cup ticket, tackle Liberia


Joel Ajayi

After a 4-1 win away from home in the first leg, Nigeria’s U17 girls, Flamingos, are keen to conclude their FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup qualification race on a high as they host their counterparts from Liberia at the MKO Abiola National Stadium on Friday evening.

Goals by the irrepressible Harmony Chidi, Peace Effiong, Shakirat Moshood and substitute Blessing Ifitezue earned Nigeria a handsome first leg win in Monrovia on Sunday, and only 90 minutes separate the 2022 bronze medallists from another appearance at the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup, this time in the Dominican Republic.

Nigeria forward Harmony Chidi has been the stellar talent of this qualifying campaign globally, scoring 11 goals in five matches, and with the possibility of adding to it at the MKO Abiola National Stadium on Friday.

The attacking potency of the Nigerian girls has been extraordinary, with a 12-0 aggregate win (6-0 in each leg) against Central African Republic in the second round, 7-1 aggregate against Burkina Faso (1-1 and 6-0) in the third round, and a 4-1 routing of their hosts in Monrovia in the final round, first leg encounter.

Nigeria have missed only one edition of the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals till date – the 2018 edition in Uruguay for which Cameroon’s Baby Lionesses edged the Flamingos on the away-goal rule in the final round.  

Saturday’s encounter, which is scheduled to commence at 4pm, will have Egyptian official Shahenda El-Maghrabi as referee, with her compatriots May Ali Hassan, Gamalat Ahmed Shebl and Noura Samir El-Sayed as assistant referee 1, assistant referee 2 and fourth official respectively.

Christine Ziga from Ghana will be the commissioner while Tesfanesh Woreta Hailu from Ethiopia will serve as referee assessor.

This year’s FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals will be staged in the cities of Santiago de los Caballeros and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, 16th October – 3rd November.


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