Super Falcons beat Cameroon 1-0 to keep Olympic qualification dream alive

The Super Falcons of Nigeria have moved a step further to book a place in the Olympics games for the first time since 2008 with a 1-0 aggregate win against the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon in the third round of qualifiers for the Paris 2024 games.

Esther Okoronkwo’s 14th-minute strike, off a fine assist by Jennifer Echegini, was the difference between the two sides at the Moshood Abiola stadium on Monday evening.

The forward was in the perfect position to slot the ball home as she connected nicely to Echegini’s brilliant run.

Goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie also made important saves to deny the Cameroonians the opportunity of scoring an equaliser or seal the win with an away goal as the Falcons held on to seal the important win in front of their home fans.

The nine-time African champions were forced to settle for a goalless draw in the first leg of their 2024 Olympic qualifying match against Cameroon on Friday at the Reunification Stadium but they turned the tide at home as the Randy Waldrum-led side were determined to continue their chase for a historic place at the quadrennial games.

The Falcons, who reached the quarter-final at last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup, will complete their chase for an Olympic place when they face the winner of the third-round fixture between South Africa or Tanzania in April. Only two teams will represent Africa at the 2024 Olympics.

The win means Nigeria has now advanced to the final round of qualifiers for the women’s football event for the first time since 2012. They lost in this round in 2016 (Rio, Brazil) and 2020 (Tokyo, Japan) to Equatorial Guinea and Ivory Coast respectively. Similarly, the win against Cameroon today marks revenge for the Super Falcons who also were denied a place at the 2012 London Olympics by the Indomitable Lions.

The Super Falcons have only previously played at the Olympics in 2000, 2004 and 2008.

The 2024 Olympics is slated to take place in Paris, France, from July 26 to August 11, 2024.

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