Nigeria Take Crucial 1-Nil Lead in Olympic Qualifier First Leg

Banyana Banyana will have to give it all in the second leg of the CAF Women’s Olympic qualifier after going down 1-0 to the Super Falcons in the first leg on Friday at MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja, Nigeria, on Friday, 5 April 2024.

The visitors had a slow start with the hosts dominating the first half and doing most of the attacking.

The constant pressure finally paid off in the 43rd minute when defender Noko Matlou committed a foul inside the box and the Falcons were awarded a penalty. Rasheedat Ajibade made no mistake converting from the spot as Banyana Banyana went to the break trailing by that solitary strike.

Banyana Banyana came back from the break a much more improved side, but failed to convert the few chances that came their way.

The Banyana Banyana Road to the CAF 2024 Olympic Qualifier

An outstanding sustained effort from goalkeeper Kaylin Swart saw her work overtime with the South African defence to block a multitude of attempts, denying the hosts any opportunity to extend their lead.

Despite creating numerous chances for an equaliser when the visiting attack sped up the field , the game ended 1-0 for the Super Falcons.

The two African giants will lock horns for the second leg on 9 April 2024 at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria where coach Desiree Ellis’ charges will be hoping to overturn the deficit. And coach Ellis believes they are still in the game and can turn things around in the second leg on Tuesday.

“Look, we said it was going to be a tight game but we are hopeful of overturning this result in the second leg.”

“We are still in the game. We created a couple of chances, a penalty decided the match but the game is not over. I thought in the second half we raised our game a lot and created good chances and could have equalised. 

“Maybe we could also have gotten a penalty at the end when Jermaine was fouled but I’m very proud of the team and we will take it back to Pretoria,” said Ellis.

text

The CAF African Fourth Round Olympic Qualifier

Fri, 5 April: Nigeria 1-0 South Africa (MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, Nigeria)
Tue, 9 April: South Africa vs Nigeria (Loftus Versveld, Pretoria, South Africa)

Result of the Olympic Qualifier First Leg in Abuja, Nigeria on Friday 5 April 2024

Nigeria…………(1)1 (Ajibade 43’)
South Africa…(0)0

South Africa Banyana Banyana for the CAF Women’s Olympic Qualifier Opening Leg

1 Kaylin Swart (GK)
7 Karabo Dhlamini
3 Bongeka Gamede
4 Noko Matlou
17 Tiisetso Makhubela
8 Hildah Magaia
10 Linda Motlhalo
15 Refiloe Jane (C)
2 Lebogang Ramalepe
11 Thembi Kgatlana
12 Jermaine Seoposenwe

Substitutes

5 Fikile Magama
6 Sinoxolo Cesane
9 Gabriela Salgado
13 Bambanani Mbane
14 Nomvula Kgoale
16 Regirl Ngobeni
18 Sibulele Holweni
19 Lonathemba Mhlongo
20 Nonhlanhla Mthandi
21 Katlego Moletsane

Nigeria Super Falcons CAF Women’s Olympic Qualifier Opening Leg

16. Chiamaka Nnadozie (GK)
22. Michelle Alozie
5. Chidinma Okeke
10. Christy Ucheibe
3. Osinachi Ohale
17. Jennifer Echegini
13. Deborah Abiodun
18. Halimatu Ayinde
15. Rasheedat Ajibade (C)
12. Uchenna Kanu
19. Chinwendu Ihezuo

Substitutes

1. Tochukwu Oluehi
21. Linda Jiwuaku
2. Ifeoma Onumonu
8. Asisat Oshoala
7. Toni Payne
20. Nicole Payne
14. Shukurat Oladipo
4. Jumoke Alani
9. Rinsola Babajide
11. Gift Monday
4. Esther Okoronkwo


Original Copy: SAFA, with editing by gsport

Main Photo Caption: Nigeria’s Super Falcons took a crucial 1-nil lead when Nigerian skipper Rasheedat Ajibade slotted a 43’ penalty for the tie’s only goal, in the first leg of the CAF Women’s Olympic qualifier at MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja, Nigeria, on Friday, 5 April 2024. Photo: Nigeria’s Super Falcons on Twitter

Photo 2 Caption: Midfielder Hildah Magaia and Banyana a barrage of attempts, but keeper Kaylin Swart and the SA defence stood firm. Photo: Sasol League on Twitter

Photo 3 Caption: SA strikers Jermaine Seoposenwe and Thembi Kgatlana (pictured) were on high alert, launching counter-attacks at every opportunity. Photo: Banyana Banyana on Twitter 

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