It’s the third day of women football action at the on-going All-Africa Games being staged in Brazzaville, Congo and simply put, Nigeria and Cote d’Ivoire would book their semi-final spots today.
This is not to undermine the strength of their oppositions – because in football, as it is often said, “anything can happen” – but both teams seem a world apart from Tanzania and Congo in terms of experience, quality players and so on, which makes their pairings quite predictable.
A DESIRED victory highlighted the first day of action which involved teams in Group A.
What more could the Super Falcons of Nigeria had asked for? With Desire Oparanozie now looking likely to clinch the highest goal scorer award like she did at last year’s Africa Women Championship.
The Guingamp of France striker bagged a hat-trick as the African Champions lashed hosts, Congo 5-1 in the opening match of the 11th African Games Brazzaville 2015 on Sunday at the Alphonse Massamba Debat Stadium to lead Group A.
There were also goals each from Esther Sunday and Chinaza Uchendu to prove the Falcons were too hot for the She-Red Devils to handle.
While in Kintele, Niamien Edwige’s 48th minute goal was enough for Cote d’Ivoire to beat Tanzania as they look to progress on their debut.
If any of the bottom teams were to put up a fight, then Tanzania it is. They are the tricky one in the group and would have still been poised for progress beyond the first round if Cote d’Ivoire had not succeeded in squeezing a goal out of them.
At their AAG debut in Maputo four years ago, it was only Ghana that beat them by 2 goals to 1. The Twiga Stars went on to hold South Africa and Zimbabwe to a 2-2 draw. Winger Omari Mwanahamisi was their star player at the tournament that year, scoring a goal in every match.
Omari is in Congo but yet to score, would she grab one or more today against Nigeria, or would it be Asha Rashid, highest goal scorer in qualifying? We wait to see, however if they couldn’t tame Cote d’Ivoire… what more can I say?
Nigeria should still be wary though; being high on confidence should not make them underrate Tanzania even though they have no excuse to lose the match.