Cyprus Cup: Falcons thrashed as S/Africa hold Finland

Cyprus Cup: Falcons thrashed as S/Africa hold Finland

The opening round of fixtures for the 12th edition of Cyprus Women’s Cup which commenced on Wednesday evening saw the Super Falcons of Nigeria lose 4-1 to Austria while Banyana Banyana of South Africa held Finland in a four goal thriller in Larnaca.

Thomas Dennerby’s side filed out in a not too familiar formation with a number of influential first team players starting the match from the bench.

The African Champions however didn’t have the start they anticipated as they were reduced to 10 players following the sending off of goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi as early as the 5th minute. Cecilia Nku was then sacrificed for Christy Ohiaeriaku to replace Oluehi in goal.

The Super Falcons where however able to withstand the barrage of attacks from the Austrians going into the break with a goalless scoreline. But it was a different ball game altogether in the second half in which 5 goals were scored.

Barely 5mins after the restart Austria took the lead through Nina Burger. Former African Female Footballer of the Year, Asisat Oshoala tried to respond immediately after a good run but her effort went just wide as Nigeria went on to concede a second goal in the 59th minute.

Oshoala was however able to provide an adequate response this time with a well taken goal after being put through by an Anam Imo pass.

From then on, it was all about the Austrians as the Super Falcons tried to shut them out only to concede two more goals and eventually lose their debut game of the Cyprus Women’s Cup by four goals to one.

In Group A, Banyana Banyana of South Africa held Finland to a 2-2 draw to earn a point in their opening game of the 2019 Cyprus Women’s Cup.

Asides from the Women’s World Cup in France being 100 days away, Banyana Banyana vice captain Refiloe Jane also celebrated her 100th cap for her country in today’s draw.

Just like we had in the game involving the Super Falcons, it was a goalless affair between South Africa and Finland at the end of the first half.

However in the second half, Finland took the lead as early as the 48th minute before South Africa equalized from the spot through Smeda after Jermaine Seoposenwe was hacked down in the box.

Finland then went in front again through Adelina Engman before second half substitute and reigning African Female Footballer of the Year, Thembi Kgatlana drew the 2018 AWCON finalists level with a good strike as both teams shared the spoils.

Nigeria play next on Friday and must now get a result against Slovakia who also lost by three unreplied goals to Belgium earlier in the day for a chance to progress from Group C. While South Africa gear up against Korea DPR in search of their first three points in this year’s tournament.

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