A goal from Uchenna Kanu, a brace from captain Rasheedat Ajibade and a goal from Ballon d'Or finalist Asisat Oshoala saw the Super Falcons of Nigeria brush Ethiopia aside to qualify for the next round of the CAF Women's Olympics qualification tournament.
The Nigeria national football team got a bye to the second round because of their rating in African football but Ethiopia women came into the two-legged tie on the back of a 10-nil aggregate win over Chad.
They held Nigeria to a 1-1 draw in Addis Ababa but Oshoala and co were too much for them in Abuja.
🏴FULL TIME! in Abuja 📍
🇳🇬 Nigeria 4-0 Ethiopia 🇪🇹
We are through to the next round of the #OlympicQualifiers. We await second round winners between Cameroon and Uganda.
— NGSuper_Falcons (@NGSuper_Falcons) October 31, 2023
First half – slow start from Super Falcons
The Super Falcons started the match on the front foot but were unable to muster any serious attacking threat. Randy Waldrum's tactics seemed to be unable to break a resolute Lucy despite the many forays forward.
Rasheedat Ajibade, Ifeoma Onumonu, Asisat Oshoala and Uchenna Kanu were thorns in the side of the Ethiopia Women's national team. Onumonu especially made some brilliant runs that could have resulted in chances if she was a little quicker with her decision making.
Rasheedat Ajibade ⚽️⚽️
Asisat Oshoala ⚽️🅰️🅰️
Uchenna Kanu ⚽️🅰️
Tosin Demehin 🅰️
Watch the goals from today’s [4-0] victory over Ethiopia.
— Home of Nigerian Football (@EaglesTrackerNG) October 31, 2023
The match was not played at a frantic pace, however, because the both teams understood what the first goal could mean for their chances of progression in the tournament.
Nigeria would eventually take the lead against Ethiopia when Uchenna Kanu broke free and calmly slotted the ball past Ethiopia's goalkeeper. This was the only major goalmouth action of the first half as the game went on break to prepare for the second 45 minutes.
Second half – full Falcon attack
Ethiopia seemed to fall asleep in the second half because Nigeria were all over them like a bad rash from the restart.
The nine-time Women's Africa Cup of Nations champions soon found the back of the net for the second time in the game when Atlético de Madrid star Ajibade, who is enjoying a good goalscoring run for club and country, tapped home from an Oshoala assist.
Oshoala capped her good week with a goal of her own in the 68th minute. The 20th-best women's footballer in the world headed home a cross from Kanu for Nigeria's, before creating the fourth goal four minutes later for Ajibade.
🇳🇬 Asisat Oshoala's 20th place ranking in the 2023 Women's Ballon d'Or is a historic and significant achievement for Africa.
She's a talented footballer and deserves the recognition.
— NGSuper_Falcons (@NGSuper_Falcons) October 30, 2023
Both Liga F forwards were the lifeblood of Waldrum's team on the night as they outclassed Lucy of Ethiopia to grab a 5-1 aggregate win and a ticket to the next round of qualifying.
There were a host of other chances which could have seen the scoreline look glossier but Randy Waldrum will count this as a job well-done as he prepares for the 2024 Women's AFCON qualifiers in November/December.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago