Super Falcons Face Cameroon In Quest For First Olympic Qualification In 16 Years


Heavyweights Nigeria and Cameroon fought to a 0-0 draw in their 2024 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament third round, first leg encounter in Douala on Friday.

The decider will therefore be the clash in Abuja for the qualification for the final ticket to get to the Olympics.

In spite of Nigeria’s pedigree in women’s football, the Super Falcons last qualified for the Olympics 16 years ago at Beijing 2008.

Three consecutive Olympic Games in 2012, 2016 and 2020 have passed without the record nine-times African champions featuring.

They will now have to navigate past Cameroon to face the winner of South Africa – Tanzania clash, with the former most likely their final hurdle.

This Friday in Douala, the nine-time champions of Africa took the pitch with their usual dash and gloss and forced consecutive throw-ins.

Yet, the game would become a ding-dong as time wore on, and in the 27th minute, midfielder Toni Payne wasted a good opportunity to put Nigeria ahead.

Twelve minutes later, the Indomitable Lionesses caught sight of goal, but goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, one of the world’s safest pair of hands at the moment, had things covered.

In the second half, the Lionesses stepped up their game as they were urged on by the home crowd at the Stade de la Reunification Douala. Yet, it was Nigeria that had the ball in the net five minutes into the second half, only for Ugandan referee Shamirah Nabbada to rule Jennifer Echegini off-side.

In another match in the penultimate round of the African qualifying series, reigning continental champions South Africa trounced Tanzania’s senior girls 3-0 in Dar es Salaam, with goals from Jermaine Seoposenwe, captain Thembi Kgatlana and Hildah Magaia. The winner on aggregate of the Nigeria/Cameroon fixture will most likely have to duel with the African champions for a place in Paris.

Both the Super Falcons and the Indomitable Lionesses clash in the second leg at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Monday evening.