The Copper Queens of Zambia ended a memorable Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON2022) tournament with a 1-0 win over powerhouse Nigeria to claim the bronze medal in the third place match.
Playing at the Mohammed V Stadium in Casablanca on Friday night, the Zambians scored the game’s only goal in fortuitous circumstances in the 29th minute when Evarine Katongo’s effort cannoned off the woodwork before rebounding into the net off the chest of Chiamaka Nnadozie.
Nigeria’s Super Falcons were without key players ; Rasheedat Ajibade, Halimatu Ayinde and Onome Ebi for the game and later lost midfielder Christy Ucheibe to injury early in the second half with the much villified Rita Chikwelu taking her place.
After going behind just before the half hour, Nigeria spurned a big chance to draw level shortly before half time when Gift Monday’s header came off the woodwork with the forward inadvertently guiding the rebound wide.
Monday was again guilty of gilt edge misses in the second half when she twice shot wide from inside the box after creations from her teammates. Francisca Ordega and Vivian Ikechukwu also missed chances to draw the team level.
Last time Nigeria finished 4th at #WAFCON was 2012. Many swore that the dominance is over whereas we only had the worst coach in Falcons history before Waldrum. — Fisayo Dairo (@FisayoDairo) July 22, 2022
We responded & won 2014, 16, & 2018. LET'S RESPOND AGAIN!
I knew this was Africa's chance as I said on the Podcast.
The Falcons ultimately failed to make their dominance in the game count and paid the price for their profligacy, finishing 4th at a WAFCON tournament for only the second time in history – the other time being 2012 in Equatorial Guinea.
It remains to be seen what becomes of Nigeria head coach Randy Waldrum who has fallen out of favour among Nigerian fans with some already clamouring for the dismissal of the American on social media.
The tournament will reach a conclusion on Saturday as hosts Morocco taking on South Africa in the championship final at the Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium, Rabat with Nigeria’s Mimisen Iyorhe Calvin-Onwuka listed among the match officials for the game.