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2024 Olympics qualifier: Africans still believe in black magic and the other takeaways from Nigeria’s win over Cameroon

The Nigerian women’s national team defeated their Cameroonian counterparts 1-0 in Abuja on Monday to advance to the final round of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

The Super Falcons’ winning goal was scored by Esther Okoronkwo in the 14th minute of play after she pounced on a cute cut-back from Jennifer Echegini.

Here are the major takeaways from the encounter:

Super Falcons were wasteful

The Falcons edged to a narrow victory over the Lionesses and could have paid dearly had the visitors nicked an away goal late in the tie.

Nigeria had several chances to kill the game in the first half after enjoying a good start to the encounter.

However, poor finishing from Echegini, Ajibade, Toni Payne, and Esther Okoronkwo left Nigeria holding on for dear life after Cameroon gained the upper hand in the second half.

Africans still believe in juju

There was drama at the start of the second half inside the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja after a Cameroonian player attempted to plant a juju-like material at the Super Falcons goal post.

Apparently, Nigeria’s goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie must be using black magic to keep a clean sheet in Douala and Abuja.

The attempt was checkmated and possibly the efficacy of the charm was diluted as Nnadozie prevented the Lionesses from breaching her goal.

It is interesting to see that African nations still believe the use of black magic still has a place in football in the 21st century.

Super Falcons have to do more against South Africa

Randy Waldrum’s ladies were impressive in the first half, creating chances with ease and running rings around their opponents.

The Super Falcons are a better side than the team that wobbled to fourth place at the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco.

There, however, remains a big room for improvement.

Nigeria’s next opponent is potentially reigning African champions South Africa.

Only a Falcons side coordinated and efficient in attack, relentless and creative in midfield, while staying rock solid in defence can overpower Bayana Bayana. 

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