Nigeria’s Falconets have much to do in the return leg of their 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup African final round qualifying fixture after they could only edge South Africa’s Basetsana 2-1 at the National Stadium, Abuja on Saturday.
Top scorer Chinwendu Ihezuo put the Falconets in front on the half hour, sweeping home a brilliant pull out by fellow striker Chinaza Uchendu.
Reigning world vice champions Falconets added a second a minute into added time of the first half, when winger Uchenna Kanu’s shot was turned in by a Basetsana defender.
Efforts by the Falconets, who also reached the final of the FIFA finals in Germany in 2010 and have played in every edition of the U-20 World Cup since it was launched in 2002, to increase the tally in the second half did not come to fruition. And just as they were thinking they had a 2-0 lead into the second leg, the Basetsana earned a penalty in added time of the second period and Gabriela Salgado made no mistake from the spot.
It means the the return leg, set for the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa, outside Johannesburg on Saturday, November 7 is delicately poised, and both teams have all to play for in the race to Papua New Guinea.