Patrick Kelechi


DAILY COURIER – Nigeria began their quest for a place in next year’s Women’s Africa Cup of Nations (WAFCON) in style with a 5-0 thumping of Cape Verde at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja on Thursday.


Uchenna Kanu and Esther Okoronkwo scored a brace each while Monday Gift got a goal as the Super Falcons recorded an emphatic win over the minnows.


Despite missing star striker Asisat Oshoala, the record WAFCON holders outclassed their foes. They started the game on a sound note and did not take time before Kanu opened the score sheet for them. She tapped in from close range just seven minutes into the game.


Although Cape Verde rallied to balance the score, goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie made a stunning 16th-minute save to deny them.


Nine minutes later, the Nigerian girls were the beneficiary of a goalmouth scramble with Gift bundling the ball home to double the Super Falcons’ lead. Rasheedat Ajibade then shot inches wide in the 33rd minute.


But Kanu was not done yet. She converted a Toni Payne cross just at the 45th-minute mark to make it three for the home side.


💥💪Celebrated a solid win in Abuja! Now, our sights are set on surpassing that success to seal our qualification ticket in the second leg in Praia, Cape Verde on December 5.🤯💃


Thanks for your great support 🙏#SoarSuperFalcons| #WAFCONQualifiers| #NGACAP| #Morocco2024


— NGSuper_Falcons (@NGSuper_Falcons) November 30, 2023


Super Sub

🏁FULL TIME! in Abuja 📍


Nigeria 🇳🇬 5-0 Cape Verde 🇨🇻


⚽⚽@UcheOfficial_ Kanu 7′, 45′

⚽@GiftMonday21 25′

⚽⚽ Esther Okoronkwo 66′, 77′#SoarSuperFalcons| #WAFCONQualifiers| #NGACAP| #Morocco2024


— NGSuper_Falcons (@NGSuper_Falcons) November 30, 2023



Nigeria continued to press the Cape Verdean ladies upon resumption of the second half. But it took a 66th-minute effort from substitute Esther Okoronkwo – who came in for Gift – for the Super Falcons to get their fourth goal of the day off Esther Akudo Ogbonna’s cross.


Okoronkwo bagged her brace for the evening eleven minutes later to give Nigeria a fifth goal – a strike that cemented the Falcons’ superiority over their opponents.


With the job done, interim coach Madugu Justine brought in Tochukwu Oluehi for Nnadozie in goal while Chiamaka Okwuchukwu made her debut when she came on for Esther Akudo.


The second leg of the game will be played on Tuesday in the coastal city of Praia, the Cape Verdean capital. The winner of both fixtures will feature at the 2024 WAFCON in Morrocco.


Thursday’s game was Madugu’s third for the Super Falcons in the continued absence of Head Coach Randy Waldrum.