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FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup 2018


Nigeria v Germany: Nigeria team group photo
© Getty Images

FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup record 
Only four teams have contested every edition of the FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup, and Nigeria are proud members of that elite club along with Brazil, USA and Germany. The Super Falconets have also graced the final twice, losing to Germany in both 2010 and 2014, either side of their run to the 2012 semi-finals, when USA came out on top. Aside from those brushes with glory, Nigeria reached the quarter-finals in 2004, 2006 and 2008, having failed to progress from the group stage during the first edition in 2002 – and they fell again at the first hurdle at the most recent tournament in 2016.

Road to France 
Nigeria plotted an almost perfect course through qualifying with a record of five wins, one draw and a goal difference of +21. They kicked off with 3-0 and 6-0 victories against Tanzania before recording a 1-1 draw and 5-1 win against Morocco, and they ultimately sealed their spot by overcoming South Africa 2-0 and 6-0. That stellar showing owed much to the goals of Rasheedat Ajibade. Joint top scorer in qualifying with Ghana's Princella Adubea, she once again caught the eye after heading the goal charts on the road to the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup 2016.

The coach 
Christopher Danjuma is by no means a newcomer to women's football in Nigeria, having led the senior team to fourth place at the 2015 African Games in Brazzaville – the same year he was promoted from assistant to head coach. He then took over the U-20s in August 2017, replacing Peter Dedevbo, and quickly set about securing their place at France 2018. Danjuma accepted the challenge with a point to prove, having failed to steer the senior side to the Women's Olympic Football Tournament at Rio 2016.

The stat 
6 – Rasheedat Ajibabe found the back of the net in all six of Nigeria's qualifiers.