AWCON Championship: Nigeria thrashes Mali 6 – 0

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Francisca Ordega who plays for Washington Spirits set the tone for Nigeria with her country’s first goal after 21 minutes as the Super Falcons began their campaign for defense of their crown at Confederation of African Football (CAF) Women Cup of Nations (Awcon) tournament in Cameroun.

Nigeria’s lead was doubled by Asisat Oshoala after 40 minutes. Uchechi Sunday made it three shortly after half time, converting from the penalty spot after a Malian defender had hauled down Oshoala from behind inside the eighteen yard box.

Oshoala got her brace in the 64th minute, as the Nigerian ladies managed by Florence Omagbemi piled the pressure on the hapless Malians to make it 4 – 0. Five minutes later, Oshoala, the Arsenal Ladies striker made it a hat-trick, after dusting the Malian captain to fire a low shot to the left hand side of the goalkeeper Samake Goundo for Nigeria’s goal number 5.

The Malians coached by Oumar Guindo obviously had no answers to the speed and firepower of Oshoala who netted her fourth of the match 11 minutes to time with a composed finish inside the box. Oshoala should indeed have scored more goals at the Stade Municipal de Limbe, if not for the brave displays of the Malian goalkeeper, and some glaring misses by the Arsenal Ladies striker.

The coach Omagbemi ladies appear ready to defend their title, as they outclassed the Malians in virtually all departments of the game, even as star players in the mould of Desire Oparanozie warmed the bench. Omagbemi named 8 overseas-based players in her squad comprising Asisat Oshoala of Arsenal Ladies, Uchechi Sunday of Washington Spirits, Faith Ikidi, Desire Oparanozie, Halimatu Ayinde of FC Minsk, Onome Ebi, Captain Rita Chikwelu and Ordega Francisca.

In the other Group B match Ghana rallied from 1 – 0 down to drub Kenya 3 – 1 in an entertaining encounter.

Nigeria will face a tougher test on Wednesday when they trade tackles against Ghana, while Mali will try to redeem themselves against Kenya the same day.

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