African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON 2018) Champions Super Falcons began their Wuhua International Four-Nations Tournament on a losing note as they were defeated 3-0 by China Women National Team (Steel Rose).
The game that kicked off 12:35pm Nigerian time on Thursday January 17, 2019 saw coach Thomas Denerby fielding almost the same side that emerged as AWCON Champions last year with the exclusion of Desire Oparanozie and Asisat Oshoala who were both left out of the tourney.
The Chinese team didn’t waste time as it only took them just 10 minutes to score the first goal of game courtesy Zhang Rui. In retaliation, Nigeria tried to get an equaliser in the 25th minute as Ngozi Okobi fires from the edge of the box but her effort goes off target.
In the 35th minute, Super Falcons goal keeper Tochukwu Oluehi made a terrific save keeping the scoreline at 1-0 as the half time approaches. The game ended 1-0 in favour of China at half time.
In the second half, Super Falcons tried to get the much needed equaliser with a wasted corner kick in the 50th minute. Five minutes later, Nigeria’s goal keeper rescues the team with another save.
As the equalising goal refuse to come, Coach Denerby brought in Brighton and Hove Albion player Ini Umotong who replaced Rita Chikwelu in the 61st minute. Four minutes later, China doubled their lead courtesy Ying Li.
Rasheedat Ajibade, Alice Ogebe and Glory Ogbonna were also introduced by coach Denerby to see if they can salvage a point for the African champions. But alas! As the centre referee added three more minutes after 90 minutes, the steel Roses of China had other ideas as they sealed up the game with their third goal of the match in the 92nd minutes via Ying Li who bagged her brace.
With the outcome of this game, super Falcons of Nigeria will now focus on bouncing back against Romania in the Third place match of the Four Nation Tournament of Wuhua on Sunday January 20, 2019
Nigeria Starting XI
Tochukwu Oluehi, Faith Michael, Osinachi Ohale, Onome Ebi (Captain), Chikwendu Chukwunonye, Chinaza Uchendu, Rita Chukwelu, Halimatu Ayinde, Ngozi Okobi, Chikwendu Ihezuo, Anam IMO
Chiamaka Nnadozie, Christy Ohiaerieku, Amarachi Okoronkwo, INI Umotong, Ngozi Emenayo, Francisca Ordega, Glory Ogbonna, Alice Ogebe, Rasheedat Ajibade
Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde