International

Nigeria win 10th women's AFCON

2016-12-03 20:56
Desire Oparanozie (Getty Images)

Yaounde - Nigeria scored late to deny Cameroon a home triumph and extend their dominance of the women's African Cup of Nations with a 1-0 win in the final on Saturday.

Desire Oparanozie's 84th-minute goal in Yaounde gave defending champions Nigeria their 10th title in 12 tournaments. Only Equatorial Guinea - in 2008 and 2012 - have managed to wrestle the African soccer crown away from the Nigerian women in the last 25 years.

Cameroon came into this final bristling with confidence after winning all their group games and knocking out Ghana in the semi-finals, the only team to take points off Nigeria in their group.

Spurred on by 40 000 home fans, who began packing into the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium five hours before kick-off, Cameroon even had the better chances in the final only to end runners-up for the fourth time - all four to Nigeria. Nigeria beat Cameroon 2-0 in the deciding game of the last tournament in 2014.

This game was much tighter and Cameroon were more enterprising in the first half. Striker Madeleine Ngono had a chance in the 33rd minute but she couldn't beat Nigerian goalkeeper Alaba Jonathan when one-on-one.

Nigeria, who survived a couple more chances, was fortunate with their late winner when Ngozi Okobi's pass rebounded off a Cameroon defender and dropped into the path of Oparanozie to score.

That was a knockout blow for the Cameroon team and the home fans, which included Cameroon president Paul Biya, but the tournament overall has been a success for the country. Boosting women's soccer in Africa, most of the games were played in full stadiums.

Read more on:    cameroon  |  nigeria  |  desire oparanozie  |  soccer
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