AWC: FALCONS RULE AFRICA
Victorious Falcons celebrate
Nigeria defended her African Womens' Championship title in Daveyton on Sunday as she defeated Equatorial Guinea in the final 4-2 thanks to two late own-goals from Guinea. Tournament top scorer, Perpetua Nkwocha, netted her 11th goal after seven minutes when she fired home from the top of the box after Equatorial Guinea's defence failed to clear an Uloma Jerome right cross.
Falcons' young striker, Oparanozie, fluffed several chances in the first half, including a sitter when she was alone with the Guinean goalkeeper after 19 minutes. Equatorial Guinea also threatened the Nigerian goal and even had a goal disallowed for an infringement on goalkeeper Precious Dede.
However, in the second half, the islanders enjoyed a fine opening spell with the controversial Salimata Simpore, who was a constant goal threat.
At the other end of the pitch, Oparanozie was denied by a fine save on 59 minutes and then saw her header go wide off the mark moments later. The 2008 champions drew level in the 62nd minute when star defender, Caroline Parreira, cashed in on a mix-up between goalkeeper Dede and Helen Ukaonu when dealing with a corner.
Oparanozie will make up for her earlier misses in the 76th minute when she powered home a header off a corner taken by Ukaonu. And just moments after, danger woman, Salimata, missed a sitter, the Falcons increased their lead when Equatorial Guinea's defender, Salome Nke, put the ball into her own net, while trying to deal with a right cross delivered by tournament MVP, Stella Mbachu.
Substitute Boho Jade reduced the tally in the 81st after poor defending by Nigeria, before Parriera turned from heroine to zero when she stabbed a right cross by Oparanozie into her own goal. In stoppage time, Glory Iroka and Ukaonu came close to extending the Falcons' advantage. Host, South Africa, beat Cameroon 2-0 in the third-placed match, thanks to goals from Nocawe Skiti and Amanda Dlamini.