Last-gasp goal denies Super Falcons memorable win against Canada
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Last-gasp goal denies Super Falcons memorable win against Canada

African champions hold Olympic champions to 2-2 draw

Nigeria’s Super Falcons were minutes from a famous win over Canada in Victoria BC before a late equaliser saw them play out a 2-2 draw against their hosts in the second of their two-game friendly series.

After a below-par performance in the first game three nights ago earned them a 2-0 defeat, the Super Falcons were prepared to give their all in the second game against their Canadian opposition.

The Nigerian ladies showed their intent from the get-go and stunned their opposition with a goal inside the opening six minutes of the encounter. Two-goal hero from the match against Ivory Coast, Ifeoma Onumonu, was once again on the scoresheet as she showed brilliant adaptation to back-heel the ball into the net following a failed clearance by the Canadian defence from a Toni Payne freekick.

The Super Falcons were tested by a barrage of Canadian attacks, with goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie keeping the home side at bay with a string of impressive stops. Captain Onome Ebi and central defensive partner Ashleigh Plumptre were not left out as they looked to survive the Canadian onslaught.

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The Super Falcons’ rearguard was finally breached after a defensive error four minutes into the second half. Goalkeeper Nnadozie stepped out of her box with the ball before playing a pass to captain Ebi, who was oblivious of Canada’s Christine Sinclair bearing down on her. Ebi took a loose touch which allowed Sinclair to steal the ball off her and with Nnadozie so far from her goal, Canada’s record scorer managed to chip the ball over her head and into the back of the net for her 189th international goal.

It didn’t take long before the Nigerian ladies retook the lead in some style. Atletico Madrid Femenino midfielder Rasheedat Ajibade received the ball on the left wing before putting in an in-swinging cross aimed towards the run of Onumonu, but the striker missed the ball. Her run across the defence, however, unsettled the Canadian goalkeeper and allowed the ball nestle into the far corner of the net in the 53rd minute.

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Canada cranked up the pressure in search of an equaliser in front of their own fans, but the Super Falcons held strong. Sinclair saw an effort come back off the crossbar and the Nigerians defended with everything they had until all their good work was undone in the dying embers.

Janine Beckie put a terrific cross into the box for center-back Shelina Zadorsky to head the ball home in the 87th minute and get her team back on level terms, ending the game in a tie.

Salahudeen Sulayman

Sulayman is a sports enthusiast and budding Sports writer. You can reach him on Twitter @Sulayman_Salah

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