The Super Falcons of Nigeria defeated Ethiopia 4-0 (5-1 on aggregate) at the Moshood Abiola Stadium, Abuja on Tuesday, to progress to the third round of the CAF Women’s Olympic Qualifiers.
Following a 1-1 draw in Ethiopia last week, the Super Falcons were back on home soil and did feel at home in what was a flawless second-half performance which saw them run away 4-0 winners, courtesy of a brace from Rasheedat Ajibade.
As expected, Nigeria began the game on the front foot and should have gone in front early on after Barcelona Femeni forward, Asisat Oshoala was put through on goal, but the striker was indecisive the box and the Ethiopian goalkeeper did just enough to prevent her from pulling the trigger. Then a beautiful build-up from the back left Uchenna Kanu free in the 6-yard box but Ajibade who was also through on goal opted for a more difficult cut back which was eventually cleared.
However, in the 45th minute, Uchenna Kanu who had also missed a host of chances, eventually put the Super Falcons in front courtesy of a long searching ball which found her on the left of Nigeria’s attack. Kanu beat her woman, cut-in to her right and put the ball beyond the Ethiopian goalkeeper as Nigeria ended the half leading by a lone goal.
In the second half, the Super Falcons, especially the trio of Asisat Oshoala, Uchenna Kanu and Rasheedat Ajibade caused all sorts of problems for the Ethiopian defence.
First, it was Oshoala who played through the right wing beating her player to square the ball for Ajibade who made no mistake from less than 6 yards out to put Nigeria 2-0 up. Then Kanu went on a mesmerizing run on the left wing, standing a brilliant cross into the Ethiopian box and Oshoala made no mistake from the far post to make it three. The fourth goal was a recreation of the second goal – Oshoala running down the right flank and squaring the ball for Ajibade to score Nigeria’s fourth and complete her brace on the day.
Nigeria have qualified for the third round and will await the winner between Uganda and Cameroon for the next set of games set to take place between February 9 and 28, 2024.