Super Falcons bounce back from Banyana defeat

Super Falcons bounce back from Banyana defeat

The Super Eagles bounced back into contention magnificently to hand Zambia a 4-0 beating in the second Group B game of their African Women Cup of Nations tournament in the Cape Coast in Ghana on Wednesday.

Following a shock 1-0 loss in their opening match against South Africa on Sunday, the defending champions put the screws on Zambia who had crushed Equatorial Guinea 5-0 on the day Nigeria lost to Banyana Banyana.

But against the Super Falcons, the Shepolopolo were tentative, cautious and it would be fair to say a little bit scared of the Super falcons as they handled the ball like it was a hot potato and in fact, failed to control and pass the ball throughout the match.

They lost possession cheaply and spent the entire afternoon hoofing the ball upfield and probably praying that it would land onto the path of a team-mate, but it was never to be as Nigeria eventually seized the match and put them to the sword in emphatic fashion.

Nigeria now lie second to South Africa with three points, three behind leaders Banyana Banyana after two matches and will round off their group matches with what looks like a fairly easy match against whipping girls Equatorial Guinea on Saturday.

“First of all, I’m very happy that we scored four goals in this game,” said Nigeria coach Thomas Dennerby. “But to be honest, I’m not completely happy with our performance because we should have scored more goals.

“After the opening match which we lost to South Africa, we talked about professionalism and using our experience to bounce back in the next game, not being anxious but to work very hard.

“I don’t think this game we won is the defining game in the group and now we have to work even harder in our next fixture so we can secure a place in the semi-finals. We must stay cool and keep working. In truth, I’m happier than three days ago.”

Following a tentative start where they also appeared nervous, Nigeria finally got it right in the 40th minute when Francesca Ordega put through Desire Oparanozie who made no mistake as she tapped into an open net after goalkeeper Hazel Nali was left exposed.

The Falcons were in cruise control in the second half as more goals followed from Ordega with a curling effort in the 69th minute, substitute Raseedat Ajibade added the third with a sensational strike from outside the box and Amarachi Okoronkwo put the final nail in the 90th minute.

Zambian coach Bruce Mwape was gracious in defeat and sportingly congratulated the defending champions, adding that they played well and deserved their victory on the day.

“After winning 5-0 in our first game against Equatorial Guinea,” said Mwape, “a lot of people were expecting us to give Nigeria am even tougher time, but unfortunately things didn’t go as we planned.

“The 5-0 win in the opening match was no fluke according to the game we played. We created a lot of goal scoring opportunities in that game compared to today. If we had played the way we did in our first game, the story could have been different.”

The Zambians will now pack their bags and head for Accra, where they round off their group matches against South Africa in the capital city on Saturday afternoon knowing full well that defeat would mean the end of the journey for them.

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