Super Falcons secured their place in the upcoming Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) with a 2-1 triumph over Cape Verde at the Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde in Praia.
In the previous encounter at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja last Thursday, the Nigerian team displayed dominance with a commanding 5-0 victory. Uchenna Kanu’s brace, along with goals from Esther Okoronkwo and Gift Monday, sealed the resounding win.
Despite missing key players Asisat Oshoala and Ashleigh Plumptre, Justin Madugu’s squad aimed for a repeat performance. However, Cape Verde had other plans and demonstrated their intentions with an 8th-minute goal from Racing Power striker, Ivania Moreira.
Although the Super Falcons pressed for an equalizer, the Cape Verde side held firm, maintaining their lone-goal advantage into halftime.
The second half saw a renewed Nigerian offensive, with Madugu substituting Okoronkwo for Kanu. Despite Okoronkwo’s apparent 55th-minute goal being ruled offside, the 26-year-old persevered, securing her goal seven minutes later with a solo finish, maintaining the five-goal aggregate tally.
Okoronkwo continued to challenge the Cape Verde defense, nearly providing an assist to Toni Payne, who, unfortunately, couldn’t beat opposition goalkeeper Jacinta Rodrigues.
Acting captain Rasheedat Ajibade also came close to giving the Falcons the lead, but her effort narrowly missed the post. Rodrigues faced consistent pressure from Payne and Okoronkwo, maintaining a deadlock on the scoreline.
The breakthrough finally came for the Super Falcons in the 93rd minute when Ajibade secured the decisive goal, sealing the victory.