Nigeria saw off Zambia with an emphatic 4-0 victory to make amends from their opening game slumber at the Cape Coast stadium on Wednesday.
The win gives the Super Falcons a lifeline in their quest to defend the tournament and make it to the FIFA Women’s World Cup next year in France.
The defending champions started the game on a high and dominated the early stages as Asisat Oshoala’s effort was saved by goalkeeper Hazel Nali on the eighth minute mark.
Nigeria came close again in the 20th minute but Osinachi Ohale’s header was beautifully saved by Nali again.
Five minutes from halftime, Desire Oparanozie latched onto a cross from Woman of the Match Francisca Ordega to open the scoring for the reigning champions.
Ordega doubled Nigeria’s lead in the 69th minute with a sublime curling effort after Oparanozie’s attempt came off the posts.
Substituted Rasheedat Ajibade benefited from a nice pass from Oshoala to score the third for the Super Falcons.
Nigeria’s triumph was completed in the 90th minute with a goal by Amarachi Okoronkwo.
Thomas Dennerby (Head Coach, Nigeria)
First of all, I am very happy we managed to score four goals in this game but honestly I am not 100 per cent happy with our performance because we should have scored more goals.
After our opening game in which we lost, I talked about being professional and using experience to come back in the next game, not being anxious and work on hard.
I don’t think this game we won today is the defining game in the group and now we have to work harder in our next fixture so we secure a place in the semi-finals. So we stay cool and keep working. Of course I am happier than three days ago.
Bruce Mwape (Head Coach, Zambia)
I will congratulate Nigeria for their victory today. They played well and actually my team made a lot of mistakes especially during transition, thus we lost most of the balls.
After winning 5-0 in our first game against Equatorial Guinea, a lot of people were expecting us to give Nigeria tough time, unfortunately things didn’t go as planned.
The 5-0 win in the opening match was no fluke according to the game we played. We created a lot of goal scoring opportunities in that game compared to today. Lack of consistency cost us. If we had played the way we did in our first game, the story could have been different.