Nigeria maintained their perfect qualification feat for TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations after a 1-0 second leg, second round victory over Cote d’Ivoire in Abidjan on Wednesday.
Ifeoma Onumonu’s brace had gave the Super Falcons a 2-0 first leg win over the Lady Elephants in Abuja last Friday, leaving the Ivorians with the difficult task of overturning the deficit in the second leg at Stade Robert Champroux.
As expected, Clementine Toure’s ladies started the more ambitious side, creating several chances in front of goal but were denied on most occasions by the brilliant goalkeeping of Chiamaka Nnadozie.
The visitors, however, came close to gaining a shock lead when Francisca Ordega thought she had the ball inside the net but the Nigerien referee Zouwaira Souley ruled it out on the half hour mark.
A promising moment emerged for the home team when the Nigerien referee awarded them a penalty after Ashleigh Plumptre had brought down an Ivorian in the area but Nnadozie denied Fatou Coulibaly from the spot in the 34th minute.
After the break, the Nigerians faced more attacking threats from Toure’s ladies but defended solidly until Esther Okoronkwo’s stunner three minutes from time to guarantee an away win.
With a 3-0 win on aggregate, Randy Waldrum’s side completed a double and also secured sweet revenge for their third qualifying round ouster from Tokyo 2020 Olympics against Ivorians.
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