Oluehi the hero as Nigeria win ninth AWCON title, Buhari commends players, coaching crew, NFF

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Goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi’s heroics on Saturday in Accra, Ghana helped the Super Falcons of Nigeria to victory at the 11th African Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) in Ghana.
It was, however, a very disappointing evening for the Banyana Banyana of South Africa who hoped for a first title but lost 3-4 to Nigeria on penalty kicks.
At the Accra Sports Stadium, both sides had to endure 120 minutes of play before a winner could emerge.
It is the first time in the tournament’s history that the final match was decided via penalties after extra time.
Nigeria, however had an opportunity to claim the title in the 75th minute after Francisca Ordega, who was later named Woman of the Match was fouled in the penalty area.
Asisat Oshoala stepped forward to take the penalty kick, but she slipped and could not utilise the opportunity given, thus allowing the game to extend to extra time.
However, the very resilient Banyana Banyana hoped and did a lot for a win, but they always found confident Oluehi an obstacle.

Oluehi the hero as Nigeria win ninth AWCON title, Buhari commends  players, coaching crew, NFF
Oluehi the hero as Nigeria win ninth AWCON title, Buhari commends players, coaching crew, NFF

In the end, Rita Chikwelu, Ngozi Ebere, Chinwendu Ihezuo and Chinaza Uchendu all contributed to Nigeria’s victory through their successful penalty kicks, after Onome Ebi’s miss.
Alice Matlou, Nompumelelo Nyandeni and Mamello Makhabane scored for South Africa, while Lebohang Ramalepe and Linda Motlhalo missed their kicks.
Thembi Kgatlana of South Africa won the competition’s highest goal scorer with five goals to her credit.
Nigeria, South Africa and Cameroon are, by their success as the competition’s best three, Africa’s flagbearers at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
Oluehi the hero as Nigeria win ninth AWCON title, Buhari commends  players, coaching crew, NFF
Oluehi the hero as Nigeria win ninth AWCON title, Buhari commends players, coaching crew, NFF

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the Super Falcons on their victory.
A statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr. Femi Adesina, reads: “President Muhammadu Buhari warmly congratulates the Super Falcons of Nigeria on their victory over the Banyana Banyana of South Africa on Saturday in the final match of the 11th Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON), Ghana 2018.
“The President expresses particular delight at the discipline and commitment exhibited by the country’s senior women football team despite the stiff resistance of their South African counterparts”.
Noting that the Super Falcons had earlier qualified to represent Nigeria at the FIFA Women World Cup tournament in France next year, Buhari described winning the AWCON for the third consecutive time and ninth overall, as the “icing on the cake.”
Saluting the country’s female football ambassadors for doing their fatherland proud and showing clear dominance on the African continent, he urged them to approach the France 2019 competition with clear focus and determination to excel on the global stage.
Buhari also commended the team’s coaching crew, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), Supporters Club and all football-loving citizens for adequately preparing and supporting the players, enjoining all stakeholders not to relent in rallying round the country’s football representatives going forward.
“I have never doubted the capacity of Nigerians to excel when given the right support,” he noted, while promising the Federal Government’s commitment to sports development as a unifying force.
Also, former Super Eagles Coach, Christian Chukwu, says the Super Falcons deserve to win the cup.
Chukwu said in Enugu that the Super Falcons gave their best in the encounter which they also exhibited a lot of enterprise.
“It is a hard fought, won match for our Super Falcons. They played well within the over 120 minutes of the match and they deserve to win.
“I say congratulations to them and congratulations to Nigerians within and outside the country,’’ Chukwu said.
According to the former Captain of Green Eagles, the former senior male national team, now renamed the Super Eagles, the senior female national team has “done us proud once again”.

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