Falcons Whip Ivory Coast IN AWC Opening Match

Nigeria maintained a 23-year old record as they defeated arch rivals Ivory Coast 4-2 in their opening game at the ninth edition of the Africa Women’s Championship at the Sam Nujoma stadium in Windhoek, Namibia.
The Super Falcons have never lost an opening game at the biennial event and Sunday’s win helped them top Group A at the two-week tournament that is a qualifier for the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup.
Ngozi Okobi orchestrated a good run into the box to beat the Ivorian defense and send a through pass to Esther Sunday who slotted the ball past the Ivorian goalkeeper in the 12th minute to give the Super Falcons an early lead.
Les Elephantes then mounted an attack that eventually saw Rebecca Elloh brought down by Onome Ebi in the penalty box after the former beat the entire Nigerian defense to pose a threat to the Super Falcons.
Fatou Coulibaly Tiegnou converted from the spot after sending goalkeeper Precious Dede to the wrong side to level the game, a feat that boosted the confidence of the Ivorians.
The Super Falcons however, found their footing in the game and pressed the Ivorians until defender Mariam Diakite scored an own goal nine minutes into the second half to give the six-time champions a 2-1 lead.
Desire Oparanozie who had registered six shots on goal by the one-hour mark finally found the back of the net from Sunday’s cross on the left in the 74th minute to make it 3-1.
Christine Lohoues Yeble pulled one back for the Ivorians but the introduction of Perpetua Nkwocha changed a lot for the Nigerians as Opranozie netted her second, benefitting from a pass on the right from Asishat Oshoala in the 87th minute to ensure victory for the Super Falcons.
“We played well today and I am very happy with the win,” mentioned Okobi who was named the woman-of-the-match.
Nigeria leads Group A with three points and a better goal difference than second placed Namibia who earlier defeated Zambia 2-0 in the opening game of the tournament.
Ivory Coast is third in the group as Zambia sits fourth with no win and no goals scored.

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