Esther Ajakaye scored a hattrick as the Falconets pummelled the Niger Republic 7-0 at the Baba Yara Stadium in Kumasi to begin their adventure at the 2023 WAFU B U20 Women’s Championship on an excellent note.
Parading a few of the girls that helped Nigeria reach the quarterfinals of the FIFA U20 World Cup in Costa Rica last year and some members of the bronze medal-winning Flamingoes from last year’s FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup in India, the Falconets had little trouble seizing control of the game.
By halftime, the coach Chris Danjuma-tutored girls were already leading Niger by three goals, with Esther Ajakaye netting twice within the opening quarter of an hour and Chinyere Kalu adding the other in the 39th minute. Adaobi Okah joined the goalscoring act barely five minutes after the restart before Ajakaye completed her hattrick in the 54th minute.
Victoria Alani made it six for the Falconets shortly after the hour mark, and Chioma Olise completed the rout with a fierce drive deep into stoppage time.
After a brilliant all-round performance, Ajakaye was named the woman of the match as Nigeria bagged their first three points of the tournament.
Nigeria will be back in action on Wednesday when they tango with Togo in Group B’s second match.
The Falconets will round up group-stage proceedings with a clash against Burkina Faso’s U20 national team at the Paa Joe Stadium next Sunday.