The Super Falcons have moved one step closer to qualifying for the 2018 African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) following a 1-0 away win over Gambia in the first leg of their final qualifying game at the Independence Stadium, Bakau on Wednesday.
As promised by the head coach, Thomas Dennerby, we saw a star-studded Falcon team hit the pitch and within four minutes Nigeria all-but took the lead, but Desire Oparanozie’s effort was not enough for a goal.
Eight minutes later Nigeria had another chance for a goal, but the team-play by Asisat Oshoala and Francisca Odega was still not enough to give Nigeria the lead.
However in the 19th minute, The Super Falcons finally grabbed the lead when Amarachi Okonkwo’s well taken long-range shot found its way past the Gambian goalkeeper to the back of the net.
Efforts to double their lead in the remaining minutes of the first-half were very unproductive.
Three minutes before the hour mark, Anam Imo came within an inch of giving the Falcons the second goal they eagerly sort for when she latched onto a cross by Oshoala, but the Gambian goalkeeper came alive just in time to make the save.
In the 70th minute, Imo eventually struck goal with an assist from Oshoala but her effort was ruled off as offside.
The Super Falcons made several efforts including a double substitution in the 71st minute with Ngozi Okobi and Chinaza Uchendu coming-in for Oshoala and Imo respectively, but could not replicate the events of the first-half until the full-time whistle.
The AWCON defending champions will now meet Gambia in the second leg of their final qualifying fix at the Agege Stadium, Lagos, on June 11.