Nigeria were defeated by Ghana in the second semi-final of the Wafu Women Tournament played in Abidjan, Ivory Coast on Thursday.
The Super Falcons put up another lacklustre performance on the day, like their game against Mali last week.
It took less than 10 minutes for the Black Queens to win the hearts of the local supporters, most of them Ivorians, who wanted to see a brilliant football on the pitch. Ghana opted for low balls and fluid passes, perhaps due to their medium height as compared to the taller Nigerian women.
They soon took over the midfield, with Alice Kusi and Ellen Coleman serving Priscilia Okyere and Faustina Ampah but their efforts kept crashing against Nigeria’s defensive wall.
The Falcons launched an onslaught, proceeding from the right wing, with Igbinovia Osas crossing into the box where several green shirts stood waiting. Ogede Alice was perfect in the air as she headed home her finish to put Nigeria ahead by the 11th minute.
Ghana pulled back strategically to avoid more goals, allowing Nigeria to hold domination for a couple of minutes until the tide overturned.
A goalmouth scramble which resulted from a corner-kick exposed Nigeria’s frailty at the back which Ampah exploited to claim the equaliser after slotting home her effort through a forest of legs that were doing sloppy defending in the box.
It was thus 1-1 by the 17th minute, with the Queens on top of their game.
The session gradually settled into a balanced game after the half-hour mark, with both teams having an almost equal share of possession and goal chances.
Ajibade Rashed was released into Ghana box but her final lob floated into the gloves of Ghana goalkeeper Patricia Mantey.
Nigeria began the second half the stronger side, with Wogu Chioma receiving balls that she kept wasting up field.
The Ghanaians began to show some signs of fatigue amid injuries but were never going to allow balls into their box.
Both teams sought for the winning goal which never surfaced until the final whistle, ushering the two sides into a penalty shootout.
Nigeria captain Jedege Joy missed the opening spot kick, while Ghana’s was perfect.
Nigeria fluffed another while Ghana had one stopped by Nigeria goalkeeper. In all, the Black Queens emerged the winner with a 5-4 scoreline.
Ghana will face hosts Ivory Coast in the final on Saturday while Nigeria will take on Mali in the third place match same day.