In a thrilling encounter held in Abuja on Tuesday, the Super Falcons showcased their prowess as they outperformed Ethiopia with a 4-0 victory, securing a 5-1 aggregate score. This victory propels them to the third round of the African qualifiers for the upcoming Women’s Olympic Football Tournament. The match played out at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, with the Super Falcons displaying a dominant performance.
The team’s captain, Rasheedat Ajibade, delivered an outstanding performance, securing a brace during the match. In addition to Ajibade’s contributions, Uchenna Kanu and Asisat Oshoala each netted one goal, solidifying the Super Falcons’ lead and securing their spot in the next round of qualifiers.
The Super Falcons, who have claimed the African champions title nine times, are now gearing up to face the formidable Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon in their quest for a spot in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament.
The first half of the match saw a rather tepid performance, with missed opportunities on both sides. Oshoala, in particular, failed to capitalize on a couple of scoring chances, while Uchenna Kanu missed an opportunity from six yards. Ethiopia’s Kalsa Aregash had her shot saved by the vigilant goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie, and captain Loza Abera attempted a long-range free-kick but was unable to find the mark.
The much-needed breakthrough occurred just before halftime, thanks to Oluwatosin Demehin’s precise long ball forward. Kanu, who had previously made history by scoring Nigeria’s first goal at the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals, displayed her skills by expertly evading two defenders and slotting the ball past goalkeeper Tarikua Bergena for Nigeria’s opening goal.
Five minutes into the second half, Captain Ajibade, who had previously netted Nigeria’s equalizer in Addis Ababa, once again showcased her prowess. She capitalized on a cross from Oshoala, who skillfully maneuvered past two defenders on the right, and promptly delivered Nigeria’s second goal.
In the 68th minute, it was Oshoala’s turn to shine as she turned from provider to scorer. With a close-range header from Kanu’s well-placed delivery from the left, Oshoala left Bergena helpless as the ball found the back of the net.
As the visitors found themselves overwhelmed, they desperately tried to limit the damage but to no avail. Ajibade, agile and ever-dangerous, capitalized on another precise cross from Oshoala, bundling the ball past Bergena four minutes later to secure her second goal of the match.
Spain-based Ajibade nearly secured a hat-trick in the dying moments of the game when she unleashed a powerful shot from 27 yards, narrowly missing the target.
With this resounding victory, the Super Falcons are now set to face the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon, who staged a remarkable comeback by overturning a 2-0 deficit in Kampala and defeating Uganda 3-0 after extra time in Yaounde on Tuesday. This upcoming clash promises to be an exciting showdown between two formidable African women’s football teams.