The Super Falcons of Nigeria again secured a 4-3 win via penalty shootout against the Bafana Bafana of South Africa to claim the 2018 AWCON title for a record a 9th times.
The 8th time champions who defeated their 2018 final opponents in the 2000 final played in Johannesburg were again victorious in Accra, Ghana on Saturday.
After a shocking 1-0 loss in their first game against the Bayana Bayana of South Africa, the Super Falcons who themselves have not been inspiring in the knockout stages appraoched the final with great caution.
Desire Oparanozie was dropped to the bench allowing Asisat Oshoala to lead the attack. The first few chances in the game fell to the Bayana Bayana but goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi was equal to the the task.
The momentum changed to the Falcons and their chances were equally saved by impressive Bayana Bayana goalkeeper.
Nigeria had the chance to win the game in the 73rd minute when the referee awarded a penalty after Francesca Ordega was brought down in the box by the Bayana Bayana goalie.
Asisat Oshoala stepped up to tale the spot kick but her effort went wide.
But teams gave it all for 90 minutes but nothing came out of their efforts. During the 30 minutes extra time the score line remained unchanged with the game ti be decided by penalty shootout.
During the shootout, Nigeria’s first taker, Onome Ebi missed her penalty while the South African converted.
Ngozi Ebere restored parity after converting hers, the South African missed. Rita Chikwelu converted to give Nigeria the lead but South Africa scored to tie at 2-2 after 3 rounds of penalties.
Chinwendu Ihezuo scored Nigeria’s fourth while the South Africans also converted theirs. Chinaza Uchendu scored Nigeria’s 5th penalty while Tochukwu Oluehi saved the South Africans last kick.
It ended 4-3 in favour of Nigeria vua penalty shootout after the keenly contested 120 minutes of play ended goalless.
For the second time in his Nigeria beat South Africa to win the AWCON title while the victory cemented Falcons’ 9th AWCON title.
1998: Nigeria 2 Ghana 0 (Abeokuta)
2000: South Africa 0 Nigeria 2 (Johannesburg)
2002: Nigeria 2 Ghana 0 (Warri)
2004: Nigeria 5 Cameroon 0 (Johannesburg)
2006: Nigeria 1 Ghana 0 (Warri)
2008: Equatorial Guinea 2 South Africa 1 (Malabo)
2010: Nigeria 4 Equatorial Guinea 2 (Johannesburg)
2012: Equatorial Guinea 4 South Africa 0 (Malabo)
2014: Nigeria 2 Cameroon 0 (Windhoek)
2016: Cameroon 0 Nigeria 1 (Yaounde)
2018: Nigeria 4 South Africa 3 (Accra)
By: Tope Adefala