Falcons also pick 2023 World Cup ticket
Spain-based Rasheedat Ajibade was the heroine, yesterday, as Super Falcons defeated Cameroun to book their place in the semifinals of the Africa Women Cup of Nations holding in Morocco.
In a game watched by a capacity crowd in Casablanca, Ajibade, who won the woman of the match award, rose above Camerounian defenders in the 57th to nod home the winner off a cross by Ifeoma Onumonu.
It was a fitting decider for a game, which kept fans on the edge of their seats for the entire 90 minutes. Nigeria started on a strong foot, pinning the Indomitable Lionesses to their half in the first 10 minutes, but they could not make the pressure pay off.
Cameroun gradually came into the tie midway into the game, but the defence marshaled by Ashleigh Plumptre, Osinachi Ohale, Onome Ebi and Tony Payne kept them at bay.
The first half ended goalless. The game flowed back and forth in the early minutes of the second half with both teams striving for a foothold on proceedings.
Things, however, changed in the 53rd minute when Ngozi Okobi went on a mazy run down of Cameroun’s defence and laid the ball for Onumonu, whose precise cross was buried home by the enterprising Ajibade.
The win has presented Nigeria a tough semifinal game against hosts, Morocco. It has also given the Falcons one of Africa’s tickets to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
Speaking on the team’s victory, Ajibade said it was a result of hard work and determination, adding that the Falcons are ready to face every opposition thrown at them.