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12.10.2014 Sports News

2014 AWC Finals: Nigeria thump Cote d'Ivoire in six-goal thriller

By ghanasoccernet.com
2014 AWC Finals: Nigeria thump Cote d'Ivoire in six-goal thriller
LISTEN OCT 12, 2014

Nigeria edged Cote d'Ivoire 4-2 in the African Women Championship second match of Group A on Saturday at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek.

Nigeria's promising start was doused by the Ivorians, who came out of their shell after the equalizer.

Despite the absence of veteran striker Perpetua Nkwocha in the starting line-up, the Super Falcons were inspired by Cecilia Nku and Onyinyechi Ohadugha, who dictated the pace from the middle.

By the tenth minute mark, striker Desire Oparanozie had tested 'Les Elephantes' defence with a shot across the face of goal. On 12 minutes, Ngozi Okobi did so much outwitting her markers before fetching Esther Sunday, who slotted past Ange Marie Thiamale for the opener.

The Nigerians were a delight to watch with their swift passing game making the most of the spaces between the midfield of the Ivorians.

As the game wore on, 'Les Elephantes' warmed themselves and replied with inroads into the Nigerian halve. Their efforts will yield dividends on 21 minutes when Rebecca Elloh was fouled by Onome Ebi for a penalty, which Fatou Coulibaly Tiegnou sent Precious the wrong way for the equalizer.

The goal was the turning point for 'Les Elephantes' as it brought out their best. For once, the tide changed and the Super Falcons had to endure some scary moments.

Nimble-footed Ivorian offensive midfielder, Christelle N'Guessan gave the fans so much to cheer about with her dazzling moves that exposed the lateral defenders of Nigeria, namely Evelyn Chiedu and Ngozi Ebere, who found her too hot to handle.

Nigeria, six-time winners resumed strongly keeping 'Les Elephantes' rear busier which will eventually pay off on 54 minutes when hard-pressed defender Mariam Diakite scored an own goal, and the Falcons went up for the second time.

The Ivorians almost replied two minutes later and it was N'Guessan who ripped into the Nigerian defence and laid to a perfect pass to Elloh, who shot wide from close range.

Oparanozie made it 3-1 on 74 minutes for Nigeria by connecting home from Sunday's pass from the left for a two-goal lead.

The Ivorians pulled one back after restarting play and Christine Lohoues Yeble profited from a loose ball before firing a shot which greased off Ebi into the net.

On 78 minutes, Nkwocha was introduced for Sunday and she made her experience count moments after coming on.

Three minutes from time, Oparanozie took the game beyond the Ivorians with the fourth goal and her second of the day, with a fine touch from Asishat Oshoala pass from the right.

Nigeria has three points, just as hosts Namibia whilst Cote d'Ivoire and Zambia follow in that order in the standings for Group A.

TN Mobile Woman of the match
18. Ngozi Okobi (Nigeria)

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