The Super Falcons of Nigeria began their Women Africa Cup of Nations (AWCON 2018) title defence with a narrow defeat against Banyana Banyana of South Africa.
Despite having more control of the game, the Super Falcons failed to make the different spells of sustained pressure and possession count, amassing 14 shots in total and not one of them on target.
The Falcons however had the best chance of the game in the 31st minute after Asisat Oshoala danced her way through the South African defence to lay a perfect pass to Desire Oparanozie who blasted high from 10 yards out.
From then on, the Super Falcons huffed and puffed but couldn’t find the breakthrough only to be caught napping in the 85th minute when Kgatlana Chrestinah scored with a beautiful volley off a well weighted overhead pass after the Falcons lost the ball in midfield.
Speaking after the game Super Falcons head coach, Thomas Dennerby congratulated the South Africans adding that “I think it would have been a fair game if it was a draw.
“We had a little bit more possession and the South African team are really good on the counter attack and we know that. We have analysed them and we knew what was coming that is the only thing I was sad about; that they scored just the way we’ve talked about so much,” he said.
Adding that “if we lose the ball in the midfield, we have to fall back immediately and close the space.”
The Super Falcons of Nigeria play Zambia on Wednesday as the defending champions look to kick start their title defence with a win.
Sola Oyeniyi in Cape Coast