Nigeria’s Super Falcons a while ago lost to their South Africa counterparts 0-1 in the first match of the ongoing African Women Championship in Ghana
Thembi Kgatlana’s superb volley sealed a victory for South Africa’s Bayana Bayana Ladies.
The display of Super Falcons, tutored by a foreign coach, Thosmas Dernerby was generally adjudged poor, a situation many attributed to lack of adequate preparations ahead of the biannual tournament.
The Super Falcons were punished for the many goal chances wasted in the course of the game and thus have an Herculean task going into their next fixtures against Zambia on Wednesday.
Surprisingly, it is the first time Nigeria lost an opening match of a competition that they had dominated since inception 20 years ago. The dominance is very glaring if one considers that in 10 editions, including the last one, the Nigerian side won eight.
It was with such impressive record and having a foreign coach for the first time in the tournament that expectations were raised.
They paid dearly for the wasted opportunities when in a counterattack five minutes to end of regulation time, substitute player, Thembi Kgatlana finally broke the deadlock for Banyana with a smashing volley from a tight angle that sailed into the far corner.
The two sides played cautiously in the opening period of the match, but the Nigerians had the upper hand and created chances that were not utilized.
Mamello Makhabane for South Africa had chance to break the deadlock for Coach Desiree Ellis’ ladies two minutes before the half hour mark with a strike from outside the box that sailed wide.
Four minutes later, Desire Oparanozie had a wonderful opportunity to find the breakthrough for the Super Falcons after going through in the box unmarked, but she fired her strike over the crossbar.
Nigeria are the defending champions.