Nigeria’s female national team, Super Falcons have admitted that they barely managed to ‘earn’ a cagey 4-3 win against Slovakia on Friday, as the African champions gave away a mammoth lead and almost ended with a draw in the second match at the 2019 Cyprus Women Cup.
Footballlive.ng gathered that, despite first going 3-0 up at a point, the Falcons succumbed to an equaliser, after giving away two penalties in the second half, and had to rely on a winning goal at the depth by super-sub, Anam Imo to carry the day.
Imo ensured Nigeria toppled Slovakia at Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium, Larnaca, where Dennerby made seven changes to the team that started against Austria.
Chiamaka Nnadozie replaced suspended Tochukwu Oluehi in goal, while Ini Umotong, Ngozi Okobi, Josephine Chukwunonye, Ngozi Ebere, Alice Ogebe and Fransisca Ordega also gained starting berths for Friday’s tie.
Falcons’ captain, Rita Chikwelu put her team ahead barely eight minutes into the game, after which Osinachi Ohale made it two from a set piece to double the lead in the 28th minute.
Chikwelu got her brace seven minutes before the break, with an assist from Ordega, but the Slovaks roared back after the restart to pull level, with Jana Vojteková kick-starting the goals in the 67th minute before a brace from Lucia Haršanyová sealed their nine-minute spell of brilliance.
Ordega soon made way for Imoh, who went on to snatch the winner eight minutes from time off an assist by another substitute, Asisat Oshoala to spare Dennerby’s blushes.
In reaction, Falcons’ officials admitted it was a close shave, but noted that the players rose to the occasion and worked hard to earn the draw, at a point when everything appeared going downhill.
The players and coach, though, will have to redouble their efforts to get anything out of their last group game on Sunday against Belgium, who whip Slovakia 3-0 in their first match.
The team’s media department wrote: “FT: Nigeria 4-3 Slovakia: @NGSuper_Falcons earned their first win as they edged past the Slovaks at the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium, Larnaca.”
The scorers: Rita Chikwelu 7′, 38, Oshinachi Ohale 28, Jana Votjeková 67′, Lucia Harsanyová Haršanyová 72′ 76′, Anam Imo 82′]