Nigeria’s Super Falcons revived their Total Women’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign as they walloped the Shepolopolo of Zambia 4-0 in their second Group B game at the Cape Coast Stadium on Wednesday.
Defending champions Nigeria were stunned 0-1 by South Africa last Sunday in Cape Coast, but that loss was a shock therapy and a wake-up call as the Super Falcons came back firing on all cylinders to redeem their battered image with goals from Ugochi Desire Oparanozie, Francesca Ordega and Amarachi Okoronkwo handing them a deserved victory.
It was Ugochi Desire Oparanozie who set the Super Falcons in flight as she broke the deadlock in the 42nd minute after being perfectly set up by Francesca Ordega.
Despite their dominance and ball possession of almost 70 per cent, it was only one goal that separated Nigeria and Zambia at the end of the first half.
After recess, the Super Falcons made their dominance count for goals. In the 69th minute, Francesca added her name to the score sheet before Ugochi put the game beyond the Zambians in the 75th minute as she drilled home a powerful low drive for Nigeria’s third goal and a personal brace.
In added-on time, substitute Amarachi provided the icing on the cake by scoring Nigeria’s fourth goal with a powerful shot to seal the convincing victory that put the defending champions back on track.
Francisca’s impressive performance earned her the Woman of the Match award.
However, they will need to replicate yesterday’s performance with another convincing win against Equatorial Guinea on Saturday to have a chance to make it to the semi-finals alongside South Africa who were ruthless against Equatorial Guinea, beating the two-time African champions 7-1 in Cape Coast Wednesday.
Only the top two teams from each group will move into the semi-final stage with the top three sides picking the tickets to represent Africa at next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Nigeria coach, Thomas Dennerby, said he was happy with the result but felt his side could have utilised their chances better.
“First of all, I am very happy we managed to score four goals in this game but honestly I am not 100 per cent happy with our performance because we should have scored more goals.
“I don't think this game we won today is the defining game in the group and now we have to work harder in our next fixture so we secure a place in the semi-finals. So we stay cool and keep working. Of course, I am happier than three days ago,” Dennerby said in a post-match interview.