By Oyediji Oluwaseun Babatunde
Sports Writer, kick442.com Nigeria
Copper Queens of Zambia edge Super Falcons of Nigeria 1-0 to win the third-place match at the TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON 2022) on Friday as Coach Randy Waldrum equalled Nigeria’s worst WAFCON record with a fourth placed finish.
Coach Randy Waldrum made four changes to the team that started the semi-final game against Atlas Lionesses of Morocco expectedly due to red cards to Halimatu Ayinde and Rasheedat Ajibade while captain, Onome Ebi was ruled out due to injury.
Chiamaka Nnadozie, Monday Gift, Osinachi Ohale, Ashleigh Plumptre, Toni Payne, Ifeoma Onumonu, Regina Otu, Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene, Francesca Ordega, Michelle Alozie, and Christy Ucheibe stated for the nine-time African Champions.
Hazel Nali started in goal for Coach Bruce Nwape side alongside Anita Mulenga, Misozi Zulu, Margaret Belemu, Ochumba Lubandji Grace Chanda, Siomala Mapepa, Evarine Katongo, Martha Tembo, Ireen Lungu, and Agness Musase.
Christy Ucheibe had a chance to open the scoring for Nigeria in the 19th minute but her effort inside the box went over the bar.
Five minutes later, Francesca Ordega’s shot just outside the box went wide.
Against the run of play, Zambia scored the opening goal in the 28th minute.
A cross from the left wing located Evarine Katongo whose right-footed strike from outside the box initially hit the crossbar before being deflected into the net by Chiamaka Nnadozie.
Monday Gift almost equalised in the 38th minute as her header hit the upright.
Three minutes from halftime, Ashleigh Plumptre’s free-kick was tipped over the bar by Hazel Nali.
The chances kept coming in for Nigeria in the second half.
Monday Gift first hit a one-on-one chance wide before Michelle Alozie’s corner kick was cleared off the line.
Monday Gift again saw another attempt go wide before the 60th-minute mark.
Zambia hold on for a big win over Nigeria and won the bronze medal.
This will be the second time that Nigeria won’t win any medal at the WAFCON after its fourth-place finish in 2012 under coach Kadiri Ikhana.
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