Nigeria’s Super Falcons fell to a 2-0 defeat at the hands of their Canadian counterparts in the first of two international friendlies fixed between the nations in Vancouver over the course of this international break.
The Super Falcons were back in action for the first time since sealing qualification for the 2022 AWCON against Ivory Coast, and they looked to make a statement against one of the world’s best teams. They were up against a Canada side ranked sixth in the world that won gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The Nigerian ladies were led out by 38-year-old defender Onome Ebi, while Ifeoma Onumonu led the attack in the absence of the injured Asisat Oshoala. The Canadians boasted of a strong lineup, with record goalscorer Christine Sinclair, Desiree Scott, and Chelsea women star Jessie Fleming included in their starting line-up.
Both sides gave a good showing in the first half of what was a tight contest, with Super Falcons goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie giving a good account of herself with a number of key saves. The Nigerians spent the majority of the first half boxed in as their hosts looked to punish them.
Upon the commencement of the second half, the hosts finally got their way as Chelsea midfielder Fleming got on the end of a cutback to drill a finish into the back of the net only six minutes after the resumption of the match.
The Super Falcons were dealt further blows as captain Ebi and goalkeeper Nnadozie had to leave the pitch with injuries, forcing Leicester City ace Ashleigh Plumptre to take the armband in the interim.
The Canadian ladies continued to pile the pressure on the opponents and were rewarded in the 70th minute when Vanessa Gillespie headed home to double their advantage and seal the win.
Both sides will face each other again on Monday 11th April in Vancouver as the Falcons look to round up their international engagements this month.