03 August 2015 12:21
For the second successive time, the Super Falcons of Nigeria will be absent when the roll call for Olympic Games is conducted.
The reigning African champions crashed out of the penultimate round of the continental qualifiers for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, after suffering a 2-1 loss to rivals Equatorial Guinea last Sunday in Malabo. A 1-1 draw in regulation time kept the tie two-all on aggregate, taking the game into extra time where ‘Nzalang Nacional’ proved stronger.
It thus extinguishes the hope of the seven-time African champions, who have failed to reach the finals of the quadrennial multisport event since completing a hat-trick of appearances between 2000 and 2008, and comes on the heels of a poor showing at the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada last June, where they failed to win a game and finished bottom of their group.
Two-time African champions, Equatorial Guinea remain on course and will face South Africa, who beat Kenya 1-0 in Machakos near Nairobi, at the final round. Rhoda Muluadzi’s 24th minute separated the two sides allowing Banyana Banyana passage 2-0 on aggregate.
“We should have scored more in the first half, but the second half was tough because they were pushing players forward, which is the logical thing to do. We have always been thinking that Nigeria would be our final opponents but at the back of our minds we also knew there was a chance we could play Equatorial Guinea. But the truth is Equatorial Guinea will not be weaker than Nigeria.
“The fact that they won against Nigeria means it will be a tough encounter, but we will go for it. We have the African Games to help us prepare for that qualifier by keeping us sharp,” South Africa coach Vera Pauw was quoted by the website of the South African Football Association.
In Accra on Saturday, Cameroon edged Ghana via away goals after a 2-2 draw tied both games three-all. Samira Suleman put Ghana ahead in the 15th minute after she whipped in from a cross by Boakye to beat Cameroon goalkeeper Annette Ngo Ndom for the opener.
The visitors pushed ahead and began advancing close to pulling parity with every opportunity upfront. Soon, their effort paid off a minute before half time through Ngono Mani Madelaine with an effort that beat goalkeeper Patricia Mantey in post for Ghana.
Two minutes into the second half, Portia Boakye restored Ghana's lead through a well-taken cross from Suleman to send the stadium agog before Agnes Nkada Ghanaian hearts with the equalizer seven minutes to end proceedings with an incisive header from just outside the penalty area.
Cameroon will face either Cote d’Ivoire or Zimbabwe at the final round of the continental qualifiers.
Saturday, 1 August 2015
Ghana 2-2 Cameroon (1-1)
Sunday, 2 August 2015
Kenya 0-1 South Africa (0-1)
Equatorial Guinea 1-1 (2-1 a.e.t) vs Nigeria (1-1)
*a.e.t - after extra time