Nigeria are through to the final of the 2018 African Women Championship after playing a goalless draw with Cameroon and beating them 4-2 on penalties.
The game was a tightly contested affair that saw both teams control the tempo at various stages. Yet it was the defence on both teams that were the true performers of the match. They sealed out the big guns from each other despite various attempts to unlock the game.
Nigeria came on strong towards the middle of the first half while the Lionesses found their second wind in the second and pressed the defending champion mercilessly coaxing at least one quality save from Rivers Angels shot stopper Tochukwu Oluehi. Not to be out Ndom manning the other sticks also showed her worth repeatedly stopping a banged up Oparanozie and a feisty. Oshoala.
In the end, the goal refused to come even after extra time and despite all attempts and the two would line up to take their spot kicks. They both scored their first two kicks each and then Olueh pulled off a crucial save when a subdued Gaelle Engenamouit literally passed the ball to her in a horrible attempt to convert.
Oshoala smelling blood literally danced to the penalty spot and put the Falcons up 3-2. They would not look back and when the Central Africans showed frayed nerves by clanking their next shot off the woodwork, Barcelona FA defender Ebere Ngoz put them to the sword by converting her own kick.
This is the fifth time Nigeria has ousted Cameroon in the competition but the West Africans will have no time to gloat. Rather they must now look to overcome Banyana Banyana who beat Mali 1:0 to secure themselves a spot in the finals as well. As we know the South Africans beat Nigeria earlier in round robin play 1:0, setting up an exciting revenge game on Saturday.