Ghana and South Africa are now firmly on course at securing berths at the FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup Uruguay 2018 following comfortable wins during the first leg matches of the final round at the weekend.
The Ghanaians, nicknamed Black Maidens recorded a 9-0 away win against Djibouti away in Djibouti whilst South Africa's Bantwana trounced their Moroccan counterparts 5-1 in Johannesburg.
The Maidens went on a goal scoring spree last Friday at the El Hadj Hassan Gouled Stadium where captain Mukarama Abdulai grabbed a hat trick to increase her tally to eight goals in the qualifying phase. There were also goals from Suzzy Dede Teye, Abigail Tutuwaa, Jacqueline Owusu, Fuseina Mumuni, Milot Pokuaa and Adama Alhassan as the West Africans took control of their destiny towards a sixth successive appearance at the global tournament.
At the Dobsonville Stadium, South Africa led 4-0 at half time thanks to a brace from Karabo Dlamini and one each from Thambolinye Mzoneli and Miche Minnies. Sphumelele Shamase added the fifth goal midway into the second half before Noura Mouadni grabbed a consolation for the visiting Moroccans on 71 minutes.
Elsewhere in Benin City, Nigeria stumbled to a 2-2 draw at home to Cameroon, a result which makes the reverse a difficult fixture for the former.
Though Previous Vincent scored the opening for Nigeria as early as the second minute, the visitors fought back and were rewarded with a brilliant header by Marie Ngah seven minutes later.
Alice Kanemi put Cameroon in the lead for the first time just before the break, and Osaretin Ikekhua equalized with a well-taken free-kick seven minutes after recess.
The second leg matches will take place in a fortnight with the winners advancing to the final tournament in Uruguay later in the year.
02.02.18 Djibouti Ghana 9-0 Djibouti
03.02.18 Benin City Nigeria 2-2 Cameroon
04.02.18 Johannesburg South Africa 5-1 Morocco