Super Falcons Off To A Winning Start In Aisha Buhari Cup Opener
Super Falcons of Nigeria got their Aisha Buhari Cup campaign off to a winning start after they secured a 2-0 victory over Mali at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena, formerly Onikan Stadium, Lagos on Wednesday evening.
It was FC Lobo striker Gift Monday who scored a brace against a determined Eagles side in the closing stages of the match.
With the two sides sizing each other in the opening exchanges, it was the hosts who had the first chance of the match when Asisat Oshoala was released at the top of the box only for her low effort to be kept out by Fatoumata Karenta’s left foot.
Nigeria had another chance to break the deadlock from a free-kick but Joy Bokiri saw her curling effort sail just over the crossbar.
Super Falcons won a free-kick in a promising position on the right-hand side and Michele Alozie tried to curl it into the far-post corner with the left foot but it went sailing over the bar.
Mali had their first real chance of the game on the half-hour mark when Oumou Kone cut the ball back for Binta Diarra, who saw her effort saved by Falcons keeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, who tipped the ball over his bar.
From the resulting corner, Sebe Coulibaly was forced into making another great save but this time to deny Gape Oshoala’s goal-bound strike as the game went into the halftime break locked a 0-0.
Mali showed their intent early in the second half should’ve broke the deadlock when Aisatta Traore tried to capitalise on Tangara Oumou’s failed header clearance but was her volley crash against the woodwork.
Super Falcons eventually managed to take the lead in the 88th minute when substitute Gift Monday headed the ball off a cross from superstar Oshoala.
On the brink of full time, Monday made it first to a flicked header in the box before lobbing the goalkeeper for the second goal.
Despite the win, Nigeria coach was not impressed saying that his lack of good knowledge about the female Mali Eagles was responsible for their performance.
“It was difficult to find videos of the Mali team, and the only one I saw was their match against Morocco, which I used to scout,” the gaffer said.
“We didn’t have a great start.The Malians pressed so high and were well-managed at the back.We could only find space when we went wide.The Malians are dangerous and played long balls.”
The Falcons will be back in action on Tuesday, September 21, when they take on South Africa at the same venue.