By Joel Ajayi
Nigeria’s Super Falcons on Saturday increased her Supremacy over the African countries after she defeated South Africa 4-3 in a penalty shot out to win the Africa Women Cup of Nation AWCON for the records of ninth times.
The final of the 2018 edition played at Accra Sports Stadium, in Ghana witnessed a skilful, creative, energetic and technically –know-how from both teams.
In 20 years of its existence, reigning champions Nigeria have dominated the Women AFCON to an embarrassing degree, with only Equatorial Guinea breaking their clean sweep on only two occasions.
Falcons got the best opportunity to win the game in the 75th minutes when South Africa goalkeeper brought down the entertaining Francisca Ortega inside 18 yards box but Reigning African Woman Player of the Year, Asisat Oshoala missed the kick.
Nigerian keeper, Tochukwu remained the shining light among the Super Falcons when she saved a shot from South African forward in the 100th minutes kept Nigeria in the game
The game went into extra time as neither team scored a goal in regulation time. Both teams battled hard for the victory but goalscoring chances were few and far in between.
Following a scoreless 120 –minute attrition in Accra the game went into penalty shootouts for the first time in the competition’s history with Nigeria winning 4-3 after Falcons goalkeeper, Tochukwu Oluehi saved South Africa’s final spot kick to denied South Africa winning it for the first time in their history.
Nigeria and South Africa have been in the final together once – in 2000 when the South Africans hosted but the Nigerians successfully overpowered them after a 2-0 defeat of the hosts in Johannesburg.
Meanwhile, the Super Falcons won the first five editions (1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006) in the competition before they were dislodged in the semi-finals by hosts, Equatorial Guinea in their sixth attempt (2008), who went on to defeat South Africa 2-1 in the finals.
Also, the Falcons won the last two editions – 2014 and 2016 – defeating Cameroon on both occasions in the final.
However, coach Dennerby led team, on Tuesday earned an automatic ticket to next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in France after defeated Cameroon 4-2 in the penalty shot out.