By Albert Akota
The Super Falcons defeated their Malian counterparts 2-1 on Saturday to emerge the bronze winners of the inaugural WAFU Women Cup of Nations in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire.
Fatoumata Diarra put the Malians ahead after only 10 minutes but Chinaza Uchendu’s brace, in the 13th and 39th minutes, pulled Nigeria in front and there was to be no more goal in the encounter until the final whistle.
Despite losing on penalty shoot –out to eventual champions, Ghana’s Black Queens in the semi finals, following a 1-1 draw, the virtually home –based Falcons’ contingent scored a total of 10 goals in the competition, conceding only three.
They finished the tournament the way they started (beating Mali) and nimble –footed Rasheedat Ajibade mined four goals despite missing the 3-1 win over Togo as she flew to Lagos to collect the Young Player of the Year (women) award at the AITEO-NFF Football Awards.
Meanwhile, NFF’s Head of Women’s Football, Ruth David also shone brightly at the tournament, as she was match commissioner for three matches, including the semi final clash between host Cote d’Ivoire and Mali, which ended 2-0 in favour of the host country.
David, who was among 35 women worldwide to take part in the FIFA Female Leadership Development Programme in 2016, also commissioned the group stage matches between Senegal and Togo (6-0 in favour of Senegal) and Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso, which ended 1-1.