Nigeria has qualified for the 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations tournament following a 7-1 aggregate win over Cape Verde in the final qualifying round.
Nigeria defeated Cape Verde 5-0 in the first leg in Abuja before travelling to Praia for the return leg.
Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, has, in his reaction, congratulated the Super Falcons on their qualification for the 2024 African Women’s Cup of Nations, to be held in Morocco.
Senator Enoh said the Super Falcons displayed an impressive level of determination and teamwork, securing vital victories during the qualifiers to solidify their place in the prestigious African Women’s Cup of Nations.
The Coach Justin Madugu tutored Falcons came from behind to win 1-2 and complete a 7-1 aggregate result to continue their perfect AFCON qualification record.
Cape Verde took the lead in Praia on Tuesday, December 5, 2023.
Ivan Moreira was the goal-scorer as the hosts began the second-leg with a spark to their slim qualification hopes.
The second half resumed with a Nigerian press with Madugu bringing in Okoronkwo for Kanu and the UD Tenerife forward thought she had given the away side the equaliser but her 55th minute goal was ruled offside
The 26-year-old had to wait seven minutes to get her much-cherished goal with a solo finish to maintain the five-goal aggregate tally.
Okoronkwo was making herself a nuisance of the Cape Verde defence and almost got an assist after she set up Toni Payne but the latter couldn’t beat the opposition goalkeeper Jacinta Rodrigues.
Acting captain Rasheedat Ajibade also came close to giving the Falcons the lead. However, her effort went inches wide of the post.
Rodrigues was kept busy by the likes of Payne and Okoronkwo to keep the score line deadlocked.
The breakthrough would finally come for the Super Falcons from Ajibade in the 93rd minute to seal the win.
Nigeria will begin the chase for a 12th WAFCON title when the best women’s national football teams in Africa converge in Morocco for the 2024 edition.
The Sports Development Minister, Enoh, lauded the Super Falcons for their remarkable effort in showcasing the nation’s prowess on the continental stage with the win over Cape Verde.
“The qualification of our Super Falcons for the African Women’s Cup of Nations is a testament to the dedication and talent of our exceptional players. Their outstanding performance reflects Nigeria’s rich sporting heritage and unwavering commitment to excellence,” he said, stressing the significance of women’s football in Nigeria and highlighting the pivotal role played by the team in inspiring young athletes and fostering a culture of inclusivity and sporting prowess across the nation.
“Through their hard work and commitment, the Super Falcons have not only secured a place in this prestigious tournament but have also inspired a new generation of aspiring female footballers. Their success resonates beyond the field, serving as a beacon of hope and empowerment for young women in our country,” added Senator Enoh.
As the Super Falcons continue to demonstrate exceptional skill and resilience, the Minister reaffirmed the government’s steadfast support for women’s football.
Nigeria is the most successful team in the tournament, having won 9 out 13 editions of the biennial championship.