African six eye Azerbaijan prize
African six eye Azerbaijan prize
There were no surprises as Africa’s first round of qualifying for the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup Azerbaijan 2012 came to a conclusion on Sunday, with six sides now left to fight it out for the three finals slots.
Qualifiers at the previous two world finals, Nigeria made short work of Kenya in their two-legged tie, winning 2-0 away and following up with a comfortable 3-0 victory in Abeokuta. Coach Peter Dedevbo’s Flamingoes will now face Zambia in the next round.
Inspired no doubt by the exploits of the men’s senior team, who have reached the semi-finals of the 2012 CAF Africa Cup of Nations, the young Zambians overpowered Botswana 7-1 on aggregate, four of the She-Polopo’s goals coming from Elena Mubanga.
Likewise, Ghana checked into the last four at the CAN 2012 at the weekend, and their young Maidens are also right on track for Azerbaijan 2012, easing past Cameroon 5-0 in their tie. One-nil victors away from home, the Ghanaians strolled to a 4-0 win in Accra, the star of the show being classy 14-year-old Mary Essiful.
Waiting for them in the next round are South Africa, who qualified along with Ghana for Trinidad and Tobago 2010 and should provide an altogether sterner test. Held to a 1-1 draw by Namibia in their first leg, the Bantwana made no mistake in the return, scoring five without reply.
The other first-round victors were Gambia and Tunisia, who now face off in the second and final qualifying round, the Gambians edging out Sierra Leone 4-3 and the north Africans earning a walkover after Guinea withdrew from the competition.
Neither side has reached the world finals before, which will ensure that a little history is made when the three ties are played on 9 and 25 March.
Azerbaijan will host the FIFA Under 17 Women's World Cup September 22nd - October 13th 2012. The country is situated in the Caucasus region of Eastern Europe with a population of nine million people. The dominant religion is Islam and Azerbaijani people are famous for their hospitality. The capital city is Baku, meaning 'the city of winds' and it is located on the coast of the Caspian Sea. As well as being famous for its status as an oil-rich nation, Azerbaijan is renowned throughout the world for its silk and carpets. The country gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and prides itself on being a democratic republic. The nation is governed by the president, Ilham Aliyev, and the parliament is the main legislative institution.
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