In a commanding display of prowess at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja, Nigeria’s Super Falcons secured a resounding 5-0 victory over Cape Verde in the first leg of the 2024 Women Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) second-round qualifier. The triumph showcased the team’s dominance, with Uchenna Kanu and Esther Okoronkwo each netting braces to propel Nigeria to their most significant win in five years.
Having effortlessly triumphed over São Tomé de Príncipe in the initial round, Nigeria encountered a spirited Cape Verde side, who had previously secured an impressive 6-3 aggregate victory over Liberia. However, the minnows were no match for the nine-time African champions in the nation’s capital, Thursday afternoon.
The encounter unfolded with Uchenna Kanu asserting her influence early, securing a brace that included a seventh-minute tap-in from the edge of the box. Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie’s stunning save thwarted Cape Verde’s attempt to equalize, setting the stage for Gift Monday to extend Nigeria’s lead in the 25th minute amidst a goalmouth scramble.
Deborah Abiodun’s midfield prowess and Rasheedat Ajibade’s near miss further emphasized Nigeria’s dominance. Before halftime, Kanu capitalized on Toni Payne’s brilliant pass to secure her second goal, affirming Nigeria’s 3-0 lead.
The second half saw Esther Okoronkwo replacing Gift Monday in the 53rd minute, making an immediate impact with a sublime finish off Akudo Ogbonna’s cross after the hour mark. Okoronkwo continued her stellar performance, seizing the opportunity from Rofiat Imuran’s cross to secure her second goal and Nigeria’s fifth of the match.
The final whistle signaled a resounding 5-0 victory for Nigeria, marking their most significant competitive fixture win since the 6-0 triumph over Equatorial Guinea at the CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in 2018. The stage is now set for the second leg at the Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde in Praia on December 5, where Nigeria aims to maintain their commanding advantage.
IMAGE: Premium Times