2019 AWCON: Falcons regain momentum as EG succumb to another humiliating defeat
Ever since the Falcons were defeated by South Africa in their opening match last Sunday, many began to scrutinize the team’s chances of retaining the AWCON title. After the upset, the 10-time champions were on a mission to remove any doubt amongst fans of their championship form and ability. On Wednesday night they did just that as they subjected the She-polopolo of Zambia to a brutal 4-0 defeat. The win was a reminder to fans and spectators of the game why they deserve to be called the best team on the continent.
The Nigerians dominated the game scoring the first goal in the first half and packing the last three goals into the second half. Despite the dominance of the Nigerians, the She-polopolo defence proved difficult for the Falcons in the early stages of the game. Eventually, the Nigerians established their lead in the 42nd minute thanks to the precision of En Avant de Guingamp striker, Desire Oparanozie.
The Super Falcons built on the momentum of the 1-0 lead in the second half with Francisca Ordega, Rasheedat Ajibade and Amarachi Okoronkwo all scoring in the second half to secure the much needed win for the defending champions.
Zambia had started the tournament with a very convincing 5-0 win against Equatorial Guinea while Nigeria suffered a disappointing 1-0 loss to their Southern African rivals, Banyana Banyana. Both teams need to secure a win in their final group stages match on Saturday to qualify for the semi-finals.
Meanwhile in the second match of the day, Group B counterparts South Africa put one foot in the semi finals as they pulled out a great performance against Equatorial Guinea to win the match 7-1.
Banyana Banyana showed their skill and solid tactical advantage over the two-time AWCON champions throughout the match. The opener came in the form of a penalty which was awarded when defender Dorine Chuigoue was sanctioned for a handball inside her penalty area. Houston Dash forward, Linda Motlhalo was given the responsibility of taking the penalty and she did so with ease, giving South Africa 1-0 lead in the 20th minute of the game.
Thembi Kgatlana pulled out two assists and a brace against Nzalang Nacional. The goal scorer in opening match against Nigeria reinforced why she is a crucial part of the South African attack and for Houston Dash in the National Women's Soccer League. She is laying up quite a claim for being the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations if you ask me.
Amanda Mthandi and Jermaine Seoposenwe also added their names to the score board minutes before the final whistle to bring to a close the amazing collective performance from the South Africans. Desiree Ellis’ team will look to maintain the brilliant form through to the semi finals where they will have a real chance of being crowned the champions at the 11th edition of the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations, for what would be the first time-ever.
South Africa’s next match up will be against their Southern African comrades the She-polopolo while Nigeria are strong favorites heading into the Equatorial Guinea match.