Les Femelles Elephantes Deny Falcons Tokyo Olympic Ticket
By Iwedi Ojinmah 9 days ago
Nigeria's senior women's team will miss the Olympic Games for the third time in a row after losing on away goals to Cote d'Ivoire in Lagos on Monday.
On the back of a goalless first-leg draw in Abidjan, the teams played out a 1-1 draw in Lagos to see Christopher Danjuma's side bow out of the qualifiers at the same stage as four years ago.
In the return leg, Christopher Danjuma made three changes to the side that started at Parc des Sports, Treichville, with Gift Monday, Rasheedat Ajibade and Ngozi Ebere earning starting places.
The Super Falcons started the contest on a high with debutant Monday finding space in front of the Ivorian box, but her shot was denied by goalkeeper Djohore Cynthia in the eighth minute.
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However, the visitors recovered possession from the hosts and were rewarded with a shock lead after Nina Kapho struck with a free-kick spot four minutes later.
After seeing her effort go wide in the 28th minute, Asisat Oshoala made a brilliant solo run to restore parity six minutes later to ensure the first half ended level.
In the second half, the hosts made an uninspiring start with Chinaza Uchenda and Folashade Ijamilusi coming on but they failed to find a breakthrough as the visitors won on away goals.
The third round result means the reigning African queens will miss the Olympic Games for the third successive time, and also for the second on the bounce under coach Danjuma
On the other hand, Cote d'Ivoire, who advance at the expense of Nigeria, will take on either Cameroon or the Democratic Republic of the Congo in the fourth round of the qualifying series next month.