Lagos (Nigeria):Nigeria's U-20 female national team, the Falconets, is optimistic of securing one of the two African tickets to the FIFA World Cup, an official said.

The team is expected to depart the country on Wednesday ahead of their final U-20 World Cup qualifying match against South Africa, reports Xinhua news agency.

Christopher Danjuma, the team's head coach, told reporters in Abuja, Nigeria's capital that the managers of the team had been putting everything in place to ensure that the girls took part in the age-grade event in France.

The Nigerian side take on the South Africans on Saturday with the return leg scheduled to hold in Nigeria in a fortnight. The winners of the fixture will pick one of the two tickets for the World Cup which will hold in August.

The Nigerian girls have taken part in all editions of the tournament since it began. It was first conducted in 2002 as the FIFA U-19 Women's World Championship with an upper age limit of 19.

In 2006, the age limit was raised to the current 20. The event was renamed as a World Cup effective with the 2008 competition, making its name consistent with FIFA' s other worldwide competitions for national teams.

IANS