Former Super Falcons' coach Ismaila Mabo has hailed the qualification of the African duo of Nigeria and Ghana for the quarter final of the ongoing FIFA U-17 Women's World Cup in Azerbaijan.
Nigeria's Flamingoes booked a place in the last eight in grand style after amassing seven points from possible nine with an astonishing 15 goals scored in just three matches while Ghana left it late till their last group match before ensuring qualification.
Both sides are in line for their quarter final matches on Thursday and Friday this week with Nigeria squaring up against France while Ghana will square up against Japan.
Speaking with Goal.com in an interview, Mabo, who guided the Super Falcons to the quarter final of the USA '99 Women's World Cup, expressed delight at the qualification of the two West African teams and enthused that their emergence among the remaining eight teams showed the rising profile of Africa in world football.
Mabo nonetheless charged Ghana and Nigeria to be worthy representatives of the continent and not toy with their opponents so that Africa can get to the final for the first time in the history of the competition.
"I am happy for the two countries and I am thrilled that two African countries were able to make it to the quarter final. It showed the rising profile of the continent in women football.
"I want to admonish them to keep their heads low and ensure that they give a very good account of themselves and ensure that Africa gets to the final of the competition," Mabo told Goal.com.
Flamingoes defeated Azerbaijan and Colombia 11-0 and 3-0 respectively and drew 1-1 with Canada in a game marred by near misses while Ghana recovered from a 1-2 loss to Germany to qualify after beating Uruguay 5-0 and China 2-0 to place second behind Germany.