The Super Falcons yesterday at the 15,000 seat capacity Estadio de Malabo defeated Cote d'Ivoire 3-1 in the last group game at the ongoing African Women's Championship in Equatorial Guinea.
The Cup holders amassed nine points from three matches to claim the group's top spot and an inevitable clash against the Banyana Banyana of South Africa in the semifinals of the biennial football showpiece at the Nkoantoma Stadium in Bata on Wednesday.
The South African side edged DR Congo 4-1 in the last game to finish second behind Group A leaders and hosts, Equatorial Guinea.Midfielder, Chukwudi Ogonna put Falcons forward in the 10th minute in the keenly contested game that the Lady Elephants needed a positive result in to stay alive.
However, it was the Nigerians that surged forward through a well taken free kick by left back, Ngozi Ebere in the 41st minute ending the first half mark on 2-0. On resumption of play, veteran forward and vice captain, Stella Mbachu increased her side's score to three goals, however a frantic challenge by the other West African side who refused to wilt saw them pull one goal back through N'rehy Tia Viho Ines in the 82nd minute.
Efforts by the Kadiri Ikhana tutored side to increase the goal tally were punctured by the good work put up by the Ivorian backline. The Falcons' performance against the Ivorians was much better when compared with the sloppy Matchday 2 tie against the East African side, Ethiopia on Thursday in Bata.
Falcons and Banyana Banyana met in the final of the 7th edition hosted by South Africa and the Nigerians triumphed.