By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
Super Falcons of Nigeria pipped Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon 1-0 as Rasheedat Ajibade’s header propelled the nine-time African Champions to the semi final of the 2022 TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) and also qualifed for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Leicester City defender, Ashleigh Plumptre and Eskilstuna United’s Halimatu Ayinde returned to the Nigerian starting lineup.
Chiamaka Nnadozie, Osinachi Ohale, Onome Ebi, Toni Payne, Ifeoma Onumonu, Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene, Rasheedat Ajibade, Francesca Ordega, and Christy Ucheibe also started Randy Waldrum tutored nine-time African Champions.
The Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon coach, Gabriel Zabo gave starting shirt to Bayelsa Queens goalkeeper, Bawou Ange Gabrielle.
Ajara Nchout Njoya, Estelle Johnson, Gabrielle Onguene, Aurelle Awona, Claudine Tcheno, Colette Fegue, Briggitte Omboudou, Claudia Dabda, Genevieve Mbeleck, and Michaela-Batya Abam also started for Cameroon.
In the game between the best attack of the group stage against the best defensive side, Nigeria started the game on the front foot while Cameroon grew into the game in confidence.
Indomitable Lionesses in the first half contained the Nigerian attacking threats throughout the first half.
Nigeria finally broke the deadlock in the 56th minute from Rasheedat Ajibade’s brilliant header.
After conceding, Cameroon pilled up lots of pressure on Nigeria’s defence but the African Champions stood their ground and earned a slim win over neighbors, Cameroon.
Nigeria with the result will face host, Morocco in the semi-final and also joined Zambia and Morocco to qualify for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Nigeria is one of only six teams, among them USA, Germany, Brazil and Japan, to have played in every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals since the championship was launched in China in 1991.
Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon will play Botswana in a Repechage match with the winner qualifying for Intercontinental Playoffs Tournament next year in New Zealand.
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