Leadership (Abuja)

10 November 2012

Nigeria/South Africa: AWC Finals Tomorrow Without Super Falcons

The finals of the ongoing 8th African Women Championship (AWC), tagged 'Equatorial Guinea 2012' will be between hosts, Equatorial Guinea and South Africa tomorrow at the Malabo Stadium. Hosts Equatorial Guinea defeated the Lionesses of Cameroon 2-0 to reach the finals for the third consecutive time.

The Bayana Bayana of South Africa made history by ousting defending champions, Nigeria's Super Falcons from the tournament with a 1-0 victory. The South African women have never beaten Nigeria in any competitive match.

But the finals of the 2012 Africa Women Championship in Equatorial Guinea will be played tomorrow without the Nigerian Ladies underlining the decline of women football in Nigeria. The Nigerian ladies have won the biannual African women soccer showpiece eight times and have now lost six times in their history to African oppositions.

The coach Kadiri Ikhana tutored girls came to the championship with the mindset of defending the title to honour one of their own, Perpetua Nkwocha, who had served a notice of quitting international football after the tournament. But against all expectations, they have failed to achieve that for the retiring Perpetua Nkwocha.

Even Nkwocha, who had set a 15-goal target for herself, only managed to score two goals. Nigeria will fight for the third place match against the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon as consolation.

Equatorial Guinea has turned out to be a bad hunting ground for the Super Falcons. In 2008, the Nigerian girls led by coach Jossy Lad lost at the same stage of the competition to Equatorial Guinea who went ahead to win the championship for the first time against South Africa.

Tomorrow's encounter will be a repeat of 2008 finals.

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