Amarachi Okoronkwo has given the Super Falcons an early 1-0 lead in their 2018 African Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifying match against Gambia at the Independence Stadium in Bakau on Wednesday.
Coach Thomas Dennerby fielded a full strength against the West Africans, who eliminated Burkina Faso’s senior girls to reach the final round of the qualifying race.
The Nasarawa Amazons midfielder curled in a superb effort from 23 yards to give the eight-time African champions the lead in the match in Bakau.
Penda Bah headed wide a good opportunity for Gambia off a brilliant cross as Nigeria escaped conceding an early goal in the 8th minute.
Okoronkwo made her presence felt when her thunderous strike in the 19th minute left goalkeeper Aminata Gaye sprawling.
The game was balanced with the Super Falcons showing a lot of movement while the Gambians looked dangerous on the break with the defence containing their threat.
Francisca Ordega missed an easy chance as the first half ended 1-0 in favour of Nigeria.
The two teams will clash in the second and final leg of the qualifying series at the Agege Stadium, Lagos on Monday 11th June.
Super Falcons XI: Tochukwu Oluehi, Faith Michael, Ngozi Ebere, Onome Ebi, Glory Ogbonna, Amarachi Okoronkwo, Halimatu Ayinde, Francisca Ordega, Asisat Oshoala, Desire Oparanozie, Anam Imo
Subs: Alaba Jonathan, Joy Jegede, Christy Ucheibe, Chinaza Uchendu, Esther Sunday, Osarenoma Igbinovia, Ngozi Okobi