Nigeria’s Super Falcons on Tuesday defeated Ethiopia’s Lucy 5-1 on aggregate to move to the next round of the 2024 Olympics qualifiers.
The Nigerian side drew the first leg 1-1 but needed to prove its worth as one of the best footballing nations in Africa.
At the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, the Super Falcons showed early moments of brilliance with their visitors trying to play safe.
The best chance for Nigeria came in the 24th minute when Asisat Oshoala was put on a through ball. Still, the Barcelona striker shockingly fluffed her lines eliciting anger from the fans in the stadium.
In the 30th minute, Nigerians were on the edge following a free kick awarded to the Ethiopians at the edge of the box but goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie was up to task.
Two minutes later, Super Falcons made some incursions into the opponents’ box which ended in calls for a penalty waived off by the center referee.
With the first half about to end, the Super Falcons began to show some desperation to open the scoring but the ladies were very wasteful in front of goal.
Exactly on the 45th minute, against the run of play, Uchenna Kanu was able to pick up a loose ball to open the scoring as the first half ended 1-0.
At the restart of the second half, with no changes in the team, Super Falcons showed some improvements, with Oshoala bringing her experience to the fore to assist captain Rasheedat Ajibade who expertly slotted home the ball beyond the reach of the Ethiopian keeper Tarkua Bergena in the 45th minute to make it 2-0.
With the coach Justine Madagu making some tactical changes, the Super Falcons continued to dominate possession and their efforts paid off in the 68th minute when Oshoala scored the third goal with a header.
In the 72nd minute, Oshoala with a solo run down the wings played in a low cross for Ajibade who scored as Super Falcons won 4-0.
The Super Falcons will meet the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon, who overturned a 2-0 defeat in Kampala to defeat Uganda 3-0 after extra time in Yaounde on Tuesday night.
Five African countries have participated in the Women’s Olympic Football Tournament since its debut in Atlanta in 1996 with Cameroon, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe being the countries to have featured.
As the two spots for the 2024 Paris edition remain up for grabs, CAF’s representatives will be known in April 2024 setting the stage for tough qualifiers with a focus on the countries that played at the recent World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
The Paris 2024 Women’s Olympic Football Tournament is set to run from July 25th to August 10th.