On Saturday, the Nigerian Women’s National team defeated the host team Ivory Coast in the final of the West Africa Football Union (WAFU) Cup competition. This is the first time ever they have won the WAFU Cup.
The Super Falcons defeated Ghana 4:2 on penalties in the semi-final game to reach the final. On the other hand, Ivory Coast beat Mali with a score of 2:1.
Going into the final game, the Super Falcons were favourites after they have scored 22 goals so far without losing a single point. Coach Thomas Dennerby said that winning would make a great confidence booster ahead of the World Cup in June.
The match took place in Abidjan, as was the case with their earlier matches. Ivory Coast took the lead in the 41st minute after a N’Guessan Koko Ange strike from a free kick. The Nigerians fought back and levelled the score late in the match through their top scorer Uchenna Kanu. She scored the equalizer in the 4th minute of stoppage time to save her team and take us to the penalty shootout.
Nigerian coach lined up the following players to shoot the penalties: Evelyn Nwabuoku (C), Maryam Ibrahim, Alice Ogebe, Amarachi Okoronkwo and Joy Bokiri. They were all successful from the spot. But, Kouassi Rosemonde missed for the Ivory Coast handing Nigeria the win and the Cup.
The Super Falcons set a few records in the competition including scoring the most goals in one game, against the Niger Republic. In the end, they scored a record 23 goals and their top scorer was Uchenna Kanu with 10 goals. And they only conceded two goals in five matches.
In the third-place game, Ghana defeated Mali 8:7 after a penalty shootout.
The Nigerian players were planned to return to Nigeria on Sunday, May 19th before heading off to the training camp in Austria where they will be preparing for the World Cup. Coach Dennerby has made a list of 27 provisional players and will choose who to take to France at the end of the month.
Nigeria won the 2018 Women’s African Cup of Nations to qualify for the World Cup. They will fight for Africa’s honours alongside South Africa and Cameroon.
The Super Falcons will play Norway, Korea and France in the group stage. The aim is to finish at least second in the group and reach the elimination stages.
Check out the odds for the Super Falcons matches at the upcoming 2019 Women’s World Cup at NairaBet.