Yaoundé - Champions Nigeria will confront host nation
Cameroon in the final of the 10th Women Africa Cup of Nations on Saturday after
beating South Africa 1-0 in the semis played on Tuesday.
Cameroon got the better of Ghana in the first semi final at
the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium on Tuesday, with a second half strike, and Nigeria
did same against the Banyana Banyana of South Africa at the Stade Omnisports
Limbe in the evening.
Top scorer at the last edition of the competition in
Namibia, Desire Oparanozie scored her second of the tournament with a bullet
shot from a free kick at the edge of the box, to send the Super Falcons into
the final for the eighth time in the history of the competition.
Two shots by midfielder Ngozi Okobi in the first half failed
to trouble the Banyana goalie, and in the 33rd minute, Oparanozie blasted over
from a free kick in a good position, when it appeared easier to open the
She would make up for that eight minutes into the second
half. From a similar position, she opted for a rocket, which took a deflection
before flying past Andile Dlamini.
Also read: AWCON: Super Falcons thump Kenya 4-0, face SA in semi
Right back Ugo Njoku bagged a yellow card for time wasting
with 11 minutes to go, and nearly scored an own goal four minutes later as she
headed a Banyana free kick backwards and goalkeeper Alaba Jonathan had to be
As happened against the Ghanaians in the group phase,
Nigeria forward Asisat Oshoala was denied what appeared a clear penalty with
the clock winding down, but the Falcons held on and will travel to Yaounde for
Saturday’s championship match.
For the second successive tournament, it would be Nigeria
against Cameroon in the final. At the last edition, the Super Falcons defeated
the neighbours to the east 2-0 in Windhoek to emerge champions.
In more ways than one, it would appear that Nigeria and
Cameroon are presently the strongest nations in women football in Africa. Both
represented the continent at last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in
Canada, where the Indomitable Lionesses reached the Round of 16 as the Falcons
exited at group stage.
The Lionesses would have part of the bragging rights going
into Saturday’s final, based on that feat in Canada, and also for the fact that
they defeated the Falcons in the semi finals at the women’s football tournament
of last year’s All-Africa Games in Brazzaville.
If you add the expected capacity crowd that would be
cheering the Lionesses on, an explosive match is at hand to determine the
current best team in Africa at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.
that Banyana Banyana midfielder Nompulelelo Nyandeni says playing Nigeria is
always like playing a cup final.
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