Striker Desire Oparanozie scored the winner five minutes from time as Nigeria beat hosts Cameroon 1-0 in the final of the 2016 Women’s African Cup of Nations at a packed Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde on Saturday.
Oparanozie, who also netted the winner in Nigeria’s semi-final victory over South Africa four days earlier in Limbe, again lived up to expectations to silence the deafening home crowd which filled every inch of space at the 40,000-capacity stadium who were rooting for the home side.
It was the third time after 2004 and 2014 that Nigeria had beaten Cameroon in the final and it further cements the Super Falcons’ status as the most dominant side in women’s football on the continent after previous triumphs in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2002, 2006, 2010 and 2014.
Yet again it was so near and yet so far for “Les Lionnes”, who failed in their bid to break the jinx as far as the ultimate at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations is concerned, and what is more painful is the fact that they lost the title this time in the presence of their teeming fans who had stayed behind the team throughout the tournament.
A repeat of 2014 final, it was Cameroon who will leave to regret after failing to convert numerous goal scoring chances in a game that they were the better side in the first half.
Fan favourite Gabrielle Aboudi Onguene and Michele Ngono Mani were guilty of spurning opportunities to put “Les Lionnes” in front especially Ngono Mani who failed to beat Nigeria goalie Alaba Jonathan in a one-on-one situation on 34 minutes after Ajara Nchout Njoya put her through.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK