The Super Falcons of Nigeria on Thursday sealed a ticket to next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup following a 1-0 win over Cameroon at the quarter final stage of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON2022) in Morocco.
Atletico Madrid forward Rasheedat Ajibade scored the game’s only goal in the 56th minute to decide a competitive and feisty encounter decided at the Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca.
Both teams have struggled to impress at this tournament with perennial champions Nigeria losing their opening game to South Africa while the Indomitable Lionesses failed to win their opening two games.
Thursday’s game, played in front of a sparse crowd which included Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) President Amaju Pinnick and his Cameroonian counterpart Samuel Eto’o Fils saw both sides huff and puff in the opening half with just one shot on target in between them.
Nigeria had the lion share of possession though and threatened, or not, through dead ball situations but the Cameroonians improved to a large extent after the break with more attacking play.
Their attacking play was undone though when Ngozi Okobi weaved her way past three Lionesses before leaving the ball for Ifeoma Onumonu whose cross to the far post was headed by Ajibade with the ball nestling into the net through the inside of the post.
The win means Nigeria joins Morocco and Zambia in the semi-final and with an automatic spot to the Women’s World Cup, upholding their record of attending every tournament since its inception in 1991. The Cameroonians though will enter for a repechage tournament to decide the two African teams to participate.
Randy Waldrum’s Falcons will now face host nation Morocco in their semi final game at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat on Monday while Cameroon will face Botswana a day earlier in their repechage contest.
Nnadozie; Payne, Ohale, Ebi, Plumptre (Alozie 64′); Ayinde, Ucheibe (Otu 90′), Okobi (Chikwelu 78′); Ordega (Kanu 73′), Onumonu (Monday 90′), Ajibade.