Nigeria’s women national team, Super Falcons got a glorious start to their campaign as hosts of the maiden Aisha Buhari Cup in Lagos, where they defeated Mali 2-0 in the opening game, but both goals came in the last seven minutes of play, megasportsarena.com reports.
It was not smooth sailing for the African champions, as it took Gift Monday to step off the bench and netted a brace that helped the hosts eke out victory on the opening day of the competition, which had Lagos State governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu in attendance.
The communications department of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) revealed in its report that Snwo-Olu was joined in the VIP box by FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and CAF supremo, Patrice Motsepe for the game at Mobolaji Johnson Arena, Onikan, Lagos.
The report added: “Monday, interestingly a player of FC Robo Queens of Lagos, spun in the air to meet a cross by Captain Asisat Oshoala in the 83rd minute and nod past goalkeeper Fatoumata Karenta, six minutes after coming into the fray for Francisca Ordega.
“The goal put the Super Falcons in the lead after a rather turgid day on Lagos island, with the Malians showing greater zest and desire in the opening half and returning after the recess with the same impressive fighting spirit.
“The visiting Female Eagles had survived a raid on their area in the 5th minute as Nigeria looked to go into the lead with a corner, but the defence cleared.
“Nine minutes later, Ordega side netted from another quick dash upfront, and in the 18th minute, Ageusissa Diarra tested goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie from a 30-yard free-kick.
“In the second half, Uchenna Kanu sidenetted in the 67th minute, before Oshoala, who should have scored with only the goalkeeper to beat, failed to get past Karenta. In the 74th minute, Karenta again saved from Kanu.
“In the 83rd minute, Monday rose highest in the box and nodded past Karenta, bringing so much excitement to the Arena.
“One minute into added time, Monday was again at the end of an Asisat assist, and looped the ball over an advancing Karenta to put huge smiles on the face of Nigerians.”