Rivalry renewed: Super Falcons learn next opponent in Olympic Games Qualifiers race

Rivalry renewed: Super Falcons learn next opponent in Olympic Games Qualifiers race
Credit: Icon Sport

Nigeria’s women’s national team, the Super Falcons, will face Cameroon in the next round of the 2024 Olympic Games qualifiers.

After dispatching Ethiopia 5-1 on aggregate, the Super Falcons will tackle the Indomitable Lionesses in the next round of the 2024 Paris Olympics qualifying series. 

There are two more rounds to be played before the final two representatives for the continent emerge and the Super Falcons are aiming to appear at the global event for the first time since 2008.

Nigeria Super Falcons during the last FIFA Women's World Cup
Credit: Icon Sport

Standing in their way right now is rivals Cameroon and interim coach Justine Madugu is aware of the threat the Indomitable Lionesses possess.

How Super Falcons and Cameroon reached this round

On Tuesday in Abuja, they saw off Ethiopia 5-1 on aggregate, while the Indomitable Lionesses overturned a 0-2 loss in Uganda by winning 3-0 at home after extra time.

The Super Falcons made two changes to their starting lineup from the first leg in Ethiopia, with Rofiat Imuran drafted to replace Nicole Payne, and Ifeoma Onumonu for Monday Gift.

In a match the Falcons dominated from start to finish, forward Asisat Oshoala had a golden opportunity to put Nigeria ahead with a one-on-one chance against the Ethiopian goalkeeper in the 24th minute but she missed.

However, Uchenna Kanu would spare her blushes as she got the game’s first goal just before half-time. A long searching ball from centre-back Oluwatosin Demehin found Kanu, who calmly finished into the bottom corner.

After the break, the Super Falcons took it to another level as they scored three more goals. Spain-based Rasheedat Ajibade doubled the team’s advantage in the 50th minute after being set up by Oshoala before the latter got a goal of her own in the 68th minute.

In the final 20 minutes of the game, Ajibade wasn’t done yet, as she finished off the scoring with another composed finish.

The work was even more difficult for Cameroon who needed to come from a first-leg deficit to emerge victorious. 

Njoya Ajara gave the Lionesses the lead in the first half while Monique Ngock added a second at the start of the second half to level the score on aggregate and force extra time.

Falone Meffometou struck the winning goal in extra time to complete the turnaround for Cameroon.

The clash between Nigeria and Cameroon will be played between the 19th and 28th of February next year. 

Rivalry renewed between the Super Falcons and Cameroon

The Super Falcons and Cameroon do share a bit of history as the Nigerian women have won five and drawn one of their head-to-head meetings against the Lionesses.

In 2016, the Super Falcons defeated the Cameroonians in the final of the WAFCON in Yaoundé. The match watched by the Cameroonian President, Paul Biya, ended 1-0 in favour of Nigeria, with Desire Oparanozie the match-winner.

The overall winners of this third-round clash between the Super Falcons and the Lionesses will meet the winners of another third-round clash between South Africa and Tanzania in a playoff to book the flight to Paris next summer.

This article was most recently revised and updated 7 months ago

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