Ethiopia and Tanzania are through to the final round of the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup qualifiers despite their third round, second leg defeats on Sunday.
The duo completed the remaining two spots in the six-team fourth round stage as Ethiopia bowed 1-0 at home at the Abebe Bikila Stadium, Addis Ababa, while at Amaan Stadium, Zanzibar City, Tanzania bowed 2-1 at home to Burundi.
In Addis Ababa, the Ethiopians were cruising from a 3-0 first-leg win in Johannesburg in a fortnight but they ended up suffering a big shock at home as Andrielle Malihlohonolo Mibe’s 34th minute strike gave Bantwana an away win.
The away win was not enough to see the South Africans through as the East African progressed with a 3-1 aggregate win and were rewarded with a final round date with Nigeria.
Elsewhere, in Zanzibar City, the Tanzanite came off a 4-0 away thumping of Burundi in Ngozi two weeks ago but ended up crumbling at home in the second leg against their ambitious CECAFA rivals.
The visitors stormed to an early lead when Estella Gakima broke the deadlock in the first half to the shock of the home fans before Veronica Gabriel Mapunda brought the hosts right back into the mix with her fantastic equalizer.
In the final stages, the hopes of avoiding defeat at home suffered a huge setback when Rukiya Bizimana scored a late matchwinner for the visitors.
Despite losing on home ground to Burundi, Tanzania still booked a place in the final stage, where they will face off with Cameroon to earn a ticket to this year’s FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals taking place in India in October.