Nigeria qualify for Women’s Africa Cup of Nations

Desire Oparanozie scored four goals for the Super Falcons of Nigeria as they thumped Gambia 6-0 to progress 7-0 on aggregate to qualify for the 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.

The defending champions qualified along with hosts Ghana, South Africa, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Zambia, Algeria and Mali.

The Falcons took a slim 1-0 first leg win into the return leg at the Agege Stadium.

Nigeria quickly stamped their feet from the blast of the whistle.

They got rewarded when Francisca Ordega was brought down in the box as early as the 2nd minute.

En Avant Guingamp forward Desire Oparanozie stepped forward to convert the spot kick.

It was Asisat Oshoala who was proving to be Nigeria’s main threat as she tucked the ball to the net but saw her effort chalked off for offside.

Thomas Dennerby’s wards created clear-cut chances to double the lead as the opening quarter of the match passed by.

First leg match winner, Okoronkwo Amarachi then fired a thunderous strike which hit the woodwork at the half hour.

Reigning African footballer of the Year, Oshoala ghosted past her marker but poked the ball wide of the post.

It was the hosts who bagged the game’s second goal.

Oshoala was the woman who netted in an excellent manner.

Four minutes into restart, Oparanozie got her brace. The former Wolfsburg Ladies striker prodded home Oshoala’s well ochestrated pass.

The Falcons asked for more like “Oliver Twist”, attacking with intent and fluidity.

In-form Oparanozie registered her hat trick from a beautiful solo run, as she connected from Ngozi Okobi’s pass.

Oshoala who was a class act for the Falcons grabbed a brace in the 74th minute of play. The tricky forward breezed past the Gambian defenders before slotting past the keeper.

Oparanozie wasn’t done with scoring. The powerful striker released a deadly shot from left flank to score her fourth goal of the game.

Final round second leg results:

Nigeria 6-0 The Gambia (Nigeria go through 7-0 on aggregate)

Zimbabwe 1-2 Zambia (Tie ends 2-2 on aggregate. Zambia go through on away goals)

South Africa 6-0 Lesotho ( South Africa go through 7-0 on aggregate)

Cameroon 5-0 Congo Brazzaville ( Cameroon go through 10-0 on aggregate)

Mali 0-0 Ivory Coast (Tie ends 2-2 on aggregate. Mali go through on away goals)

Ethiopia 2-3 Algeria ( Algeria go through 6-3 on aggregate)

Equatorial Guinea 2-0 Kenya ( Equatorial Guinea go through 3-2 on aggregate)

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