The Super Falcons, yesterday, at the Ohene Djan Stadium in Accra, Ghana, successfully defended the title they won in Cameroon, in 2016, by defeating the Bayana Bayana of South Africa 4-3 on penalties.
With the victory at the Total Africa Women Nations Cup (AWCON), the Falcons, who are the most successful team on the continent, lifted their ninth title since the inception of women football in Africa.
This is the third time the Super Falcons are beating their South African counterparts in the finals.
Bayana Bayana, started the match on a bright note, had a goal attempt saved by Tochukwu Oluehi in the first minute through a strike by Jermaine Seoposenwe.
The first 15 minutes of the encounter saw the South Africans dominating possession with accurate passes, which the Falcons had no answer to. Thereafter, the Nigerians found their rhythm and an effort by Ngozi Okobi in the 17th minute went wide.
The African champion later had two corner kicks in the 18th and 19th minutes, but failed to convert them.
The Supers Falcons started the second half stronger. Asisat Oshoala’s run at goal was ruled offside in the 46th minute as Francisca Ordega and Rasheedat Ajibade imposed themselves in the midfield to the dislike of the South Africans, who wanted to take control of the match in a repeat of the first game, which they ran away with victory.
Oshoala had a golden opportunity to put the Falcons ahead in the 74th minute when Woman of the Match’ Ordega was fouled by the South African goalkeeper, Kaylin Swart. The Nigerian winger, however, wasted it to the disappointment of Nigerian fans at the stadium.
The second half of the match also went the way of the first, as it ended also goalless after several attempts by both teams to seal a win in the dying minutes of the entertaining encounter.
The game, which went into extra time, saw the teams played 15 minutes of each half, but could not find the net until the penalty shootouts.
The Falcons, however, triumphed at the end of the penalty kicks, as they scored four goals to South Africans three, and in the process retain the trophy.