Falcons face hosts Ivory Coast in final
By Wale Emosu
NIGERIA paid back Ghana in their own coin on Thursday when the Super Falcons edged out the Black Queens from the ongoing WAFU Women’s Cup in Ivory Coast in the semifinal.
The Super Falcons defeated the Black Queens 4-2 to advance to the final of the competition. The Ghanaians had stopped Nigeria at that stage of the competition last year to eventually emerge winners of the maiden edition of the WAFU B Women’s Cup.
Typical of any Nigeria-Ghana fixture, Thursday’s victory did not come on silver platter for the Falcons as they were matched grit for grit at the Parc des Sports stadium, Abidjan, for the whole 90 minutes of the encounter as the match ended goalless.
Not even the combination of Uchenna Kanu, the highest goalscorer of the competition so far with nine goals and Rafiat Sule could produce any goal as Ghana’s goalkeeper Fafali withstood all their antics.
The nine-time African champions were able to break the Black Queens during penalty shootout. While Ghana lost two out of their first four kicks, Nigeria converted all their four kicks to triumph 4-2.
Amarachi Okoronkwo, Alice Ogebe, Chidinma Okeke and the fourth penalty taker scored for Nigeria, while goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie saved Ghana’s third kick, after they had scored their first two. They also missed their fourth kick.
Nigeria will now face hosts Ivory Coast in the final of the competition on Saturday. In the first semi-final match played at the Parc des Sports Stadium also on Thursday, the Ivorians had to come from behind to beat Mali 2-1.
The Ivorians will be playing in the final for the second time in a row having lost to Ghana last year.