Nigeria’s Super Falcons Saturday evening booked their place in the semifinals of the 2018 CAF Africa Women’s Cup of Nations with an emphatic 6-0 win over Equatorial Guinea at the Cape Coast Stadium.
The goals account was opened by Atletico Madrid’s Francesca Ordega ten minutes into the game with a sweet finish as she side footed the ball between the legs of goalkeeper Emilia.
Soon after the first came the second goal for Nigeria, Africa Women’s Footballer of the Year Asisat Oshoala the scorer who finished a great cross from Desire Oparanozie in the 13th minute.
Oshoala scored her brace from the near post in the 30th minute moments after missing from close range for Nigeria’s third goal.
Oshoala’s grabbed her hat trick from a close range header after the ball rebounded off the crossbar in the 34th minute. Oparanozie was the architect of the goal.
The rout continued in the second half as Oparanozie put her name in the scorers’ chart in the 48th minute as she finished off an intricate passing move rounded off by Francesca Ordega.
Captain Rita Chikwelu made it 6-0 with 27 minutes to go as substitute Amarachi Okoronkwo lobbed the ball inside the Guineans box.
Chikwelu outfoxed the keeper to slot home the ball albeit amid some calls for a foul committed by the skipper.
In the 79th minute Asisat Oshoala squandered another glorious chance side netting after a good pass to her in the box. The Nigerians did not score again as the game petered out.
The Falcons will confront Group A leaders Cameroon in a crucial semifinals clash on Tuesday with not just a place in the final to fight for but a ticket to the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Holders Nigeria ran riot against Equatorial Guinea to book their place in the semi-finals of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana as South Africa sealed their place from Group B with a draw against Zambia.
A first half hat-trick from Asisat Oshoala helped Nigeria win 6-0 in Cape Coast on Saturday as South Africa drew 1-1 with Zambia in Accra.
On Friday, Cameroon and Mali qualified for the semi-finals from Group A with hosts Ghana going out along with Algeria.
After their opening defeat to South Africa, Nigeria knew they needed a victory in Cape Coast to give themselves every chance of qualifying for the semi-finals.
The defending champions’ rout began after just 10 minutes as Francisca Ordega, who was outstanding in their 4-0 win over Zambia on Wednesday, scored again to set the Super Falcons on their way.
Then followed a quick hat-trick from experienced Asisat Oshoala whose goals came in the 13th, 23rd and 33rd minutes to put Nigeria 4-0 up going into the break.
Desire Oparanozie added a fifth for Nigeria at the start of the second-half, with Rita Chikwelu making it 6-0 after 63 minutes.
Nigeria march on, but it was a sorry end to former champions Equatorial Guinea’s campaign.
In Accra, South Africa started well and their pressure was rewarded thanks to another wonderful strike from Thembi Kgatlana.
A ball over the top of the Zambia defence found its way to her and she thrashed the ball past an almost motionless Natasha Nali in the Zambian goal.
Just moments later Zambia hit back with a counter-attack as a defence-splitting ball found its way to Racheal Kundananji who was unmarked and able to pick her spot for the equaliser.
Banyana Banyana controlled much of the play before the break but only managed some long range efforts.
The second-half became bogged down in the midfield with South Africa enjoying much of the control and looking happy not to take risks while Zambia did their best to disrupt and create opportunities.
South Africa should have taken the lead on 65 minutes when Thembi Kgatlana’s touch let her down after she went round the keeper to give herself an open goal but somehow she rolled her shot across goal and past the post.
Banyana Banyana continued to look the stronger team but both sides will be disappointed with their play in the final part of the field with a lack of clear goal-scoring chances for both teams.
It would be a repeat of the 2016 Final in Yaounde as Nigeria and Cameroon face off in the first semi final of the 11th Women Africa Cup of Nations in Accra on Tuesday, after the Cup holders lashed Equatorial Guinea 6-0 in Cape Coast on Saturday.
Desire Oparanozie signaled it would be another day of several misses when she poorly hit the ball with only the goalkeeper to beat after two minutes. Asisat Oshoala’s sky –high, long range free –kick followed four minutes later, but all –action forward Francisca Ordega, Player of the Match in the 4-0 defeat of Zambia on Wednesday, shot Nigeria into the lead after 10 minutes with a poacher’s strike from a Rita Chikwelu pass.
Two minutes later, Asisat finished well from a Desire Oparanozie pull –out to make it two for the Super Falcons, but this was followed by Ngozi Okobi wasting another glorious opportunity in the 19th minute.
Oshoala netted her second of the day and Nigeria’s third when she cooly angled the ball from Halimat Ayinde’s pass, but then booted another good chance wide on the half hour.
Oshoala completed her hat –trick in the 34th minute, nodding twice from another Oparanozie pull –out to make it four for the champions.
In the second half, the Nzalang Nacional, who lost 1-7 to South Africa’s Banyana Banyana on Wednesday in Cape Coast, looked brighter, but then Oparanozie’s fierce shot that took a deflection on its way into the net from a brilliant Ordega move and pass took the fight out of them.
Substitute Anam Imo sliced her shot horribly off target seconds after coming into the fray, and after Rita Chikwelu got the sixth by running well onto a pass from Ngozi Ebere to outfox the goalkeeper, Oshoala wasted another one-on-one with the opposing goalkeeper.
In the other match of Group B played in Accra, South Africa and Zambia tied 1-1, meaning the Zambians head home while South Africa head back to Cape Coast to tackle Mali in Tuesday’s second semi final.
GHANA 2018 SEMI FINAL MATCHES
TUESDAY 27 NOVEMBER
Cameroon Vs Nigeria – Accra
South Africa Vs Mali – Cape Coast
GROUP B – Final Standings
- South Africa – 7 points
- Nigeria – 6
- Zambia – 4
- Equatorial Guinea – 0
Tuesday’s semi-finals will see a repeat of the final two years ago as Cameroon face Nigeria in Accra in the early game.
Later on Tuesday evening in Cape Coast, South Africa will face Mali.
The two semi-final winners will guarantee themselves places at next year’s Women’s World Cup in France with the losers meeting in Friday’s third-place match to decide who joins them at the global showpiece.