WAFCON 22: S’Falcons crash, finish outside third place since 2012

By Oviri Kelvin, Sports Editor

The Nigeria Super Falcons have been defeated by the Copper Queens of Zambia to lose the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations(WAFCON) third-place match in Morocco.

The Nigeria’s senior women’s team, who lost to the Moroccans in the semi-finals on Monday after conceding two red cards, fell to their third defeat in the 12th WAFCON competition against Zambia.

A first-half unfortunate own goal by the Nigeria goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie ensured Copper Queens in Casablanca stunned the 9 times champion of the women’s top continental competition to clinch third place.

With the win by Copper Queens, who were more clinical, Nigeria paid the price for being wasteful in front of goal to finish outside the top three positions for the first time in ten years.

At the kick-off of the match, Bruce Mwape’s team displayed the tenacity to shove the Super Falcons in their box and consistently led onslaughts which eventually paid off in the first half to earn them a lead.

Despite coach Randy Waldrum’s ladies pulling off some strings, their wastefulness of clear goal-bound chances was alarming with Ngozi Okobi Okeoghene and Christy Ucheibe failing to score from decent opportunities.

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Meanwhile, the Copper Queens’ only goal to earn them a historic victory in Casablanca, was a result of a powerful strike by Evarine Katongo from the edge of the box, whose rebound after hitting the woodwork, was unable to be dealt with by Nnadozie.

Although Super Falcons in the second half threatened the Zambians in the second half, the Bruce Mwape’s team were equal to the task to allay any impending threats to defend their lead.

Nigeria striker Monday Gift, who plays for Bayelsa Queens, had threatened the Copper Queens’ goal in the first half just after Ashleigh Plumptre’s freekick was saved by Hazel Nali, the Copper Queens’ shot-stopper.

Since the 2012 tournament in Equatorial Guinea, this is the first time Nigeria Super Falcons have finished outside the top-three spots in the CAF WAFCON event.

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