Nigeria’s Falconets maintained their perfect winning run after claiming a fine 3-0 victory over Burkina Faso in their last Group B match at the 2023 WAFU B U20 Girls Cup of Nations at the Paa Joe Stadium, Kumasi, on Sunday, Soccernet.ng reports.
Two goals in either half from Esther Ajakaye and a third from Flourish Sabastine were all Nigeria needed to keep up their hundred per cent win record and end that of Burkina Faso.
Burkina Faso made an excellent start to the tournament, beating Togo and Niger to qualify for the semifinals with a game to spare. But they were always going to find the going difficult against a Nigerian side that had scored goals for fun in Ghana.
The Falconets smashed six goals past Niger on matchday one and made light work of Togo, who shipped seven goals on gameday two.
And it took the young Nigerian girls only ten minutes to open the scoring on Sunday afternoon.
Esther Ajakaye blew past her marker on the left flank, and when many expected her to find a teammate with a cross, the teen forward sent an audacious lob over the goalkeeper and into the net.
It was Ajakaye’s fifth goal of the tournament, extending her lead at the top of the goalscorer’s chart.
The Falconets continued to look more dangerous than their opponents in attack, and it should have been two-nil shortly after as a defensive mix-up nearly resulted in a Burkina Faso own-goal.
Esther Onyenezide also looked lively and dynamic for Nigeria in attack, and she could have doubled her side’s advantage with a stinging left-footed shot. Still, Burkina Faso’s goalie made a fine stop.
Falconets coach Chris Danjuma introduced Flourish Sebastine midway through the half, and the young forward was unlucky not to see her name on the scoresheet. Racing to a fine overhead through-ball, Sebastine glanced the ball past the onrushing goalkeeper only for her effort to grace the goalpost and trickle out of play.
The second half began as the first ended – with the Falconets with the momentum. And just before the hour mark, Ajakaye grabbed her second of the day.
Capitalising on a poor defensive pass, the forward drove into the opponent’s box before unleashing an unstoppable shot into the net.
Sabastine added gloss to the scoreline late in the game with a clinical finish as Nigeria made it three wins in three games.
With the victory, the Falconets finish top of Group B and will face Benin in the semifinals. Burkina Faso also advance despite the defeat and will next face hosts Ghana for a place in the final.