BY JOE APU
Defending African Women’s Nations Cup holders Nigeria were on Wednesday made to look ordinary as the Black Queens of Ghana held the Falcons to a 1-1 draw at the ongoing 10th edition of the Nations Cup finals in Cameroon.
Tournament’s leading scorer, Asisat Oshoala opened scoring in the 19th minute to register her fifth of the tournament at the Stade Omnisports Limbe, but the Nigerians were somewhat too anxious in front of goal and missed several chances.
Ghana drew level two minutes before recess when Ugo Njoku committed a foul in the box and Elizabeth Addo made no mistake from the spot.
In the second half, the reigning champions piled much pressure on their West African counterparts, but the Black Queens were well organized at the rear and kept the scoreline even.
Oshoala would have put Nigeria ahead in the 63rd minute but failed to connect a cross by Francisca Ordega and in the 77th minute, substitute Florence Dadson came close at the other end, but goalkeeper Alaba Jonathan timed her run well.
A brilliant move by Faith Ikidi pierced the Ghanaian defence with two minutes left, only for Ordega to fluff the opportunity with Desire Oparanozie unmarked behind her.
On the dot of time, penalty appeals by Nigeria were waived away by the referee after Oshoala was brought down in the box by the Ghanaian goalkeeper.
However, the Falcons remain top of Group B on goals difference from the Black Queens, and will play Kenya on Sunday. The Black Queens will slug it out with Mali, who were pummelled 6-0 by Nigeria.