Total WACON 2022: Nigeria bounce back with Botswana win

BY: Rosalind K. Amoh
Super Falcons: back on track at WAFCON 2022
Super Falcons: back on track at WAFCON 2022

Defending Champions of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON), Nigeria recovered from their stuttering start in the 2022 campaign with a 2-0 win against Botswana in their second Group C game.

Goals from Ifeoma Onumonu (21st) and substitute Christy Ucheibe (48th) brought back the smiles on the faces of the Super Falcons after their opening game loss to South Africa.

Known for their scoring prowess and for their star-studded team, the absence of key player Asisat Oshoala due to injury, put Nigeria under pressure to recover from that false start, and they did, as they began the game on a high note, not giving the Botswana side any breathing space.

It was not after 20 minutes that their efforts were rewarded with the US-based Onumonu finishing off a well laid pass from Rashedat Ajibade.

The young Botswana side, making their debut at the WAFCON, gave good account of themselves, holding further trouble at bay to send the first half with only a goal down.

When the second half resumed, the defending champions took their opponents unawares, as substitute, Ucheibe who plays for Portugal's Benfica, finished off another move from Ajibade.

They pushed for more, but the Swallows as the Botswana team is called, pushed them back.

At the end of the 90 minutes, the Nigerians had hoped they could have scored more goals, but the two were good enough to earn them their first three points and move them to the second spot on the log and get their campaign back, hoping to fully redeem it in the final group game against Burundi.

South Africa progress
South Africa's Bayana Bayana booked their place in the quarter-finals with a 3-1 win against Burundi.

Goals from Thembi Kgatlana, Amogelang M. Motau and Linda Mothalo helped the South Africans bag all three points and an early qualification to the quarter-finals.

Kgatlana put the 2018 WAFCON runners up ahead in the 20th minute, but Aniella Uwimana surprised them with an equaliser for Burundi 10 minutes later.

Motau however, restored the lead in the 32nd minute with Mathalo completing the win by converting a spot kick.

Coach Desiree Ellis' ladies are yet to lose a game since 2019 as they march on in the competition hoping to eventually crown their efforts with their first WAFCON title.