BY PAUL BASSEY
We bring to you, an exclusive minute by minute account of the Super Falcons ouster in Yaounde, by an eye witness.
Thursday: The team flies into Lagos from Abuja and from there to Douala on board Air Nigeria.
Due to the absence of flight connections to Yaounde, the team sleeps in Douala.
Friday: 4.30 am, the team departs for the airport to be able to catch a 6.30 am Camair.co flight to Yaounde.
7.30 am – The Falcons land in Yaounde and are ferried by Embassy Staff and Officials to an hotel (Names withheld) later to be considered unfit by accompanying officials.
2.30pm – A search yields the five Star Hilton Hotel Yaounde, leaving no room for excuses.
3.10pm- Falcons arrive the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium venue of the match to get familiar with the terrain and kick off time of 3.30 pm.
Members of the Nigerian Community in Yaounde turn out in large number and promise Falcons adequate support, next day. They also inform that the supporters Club will arrive from Nigeria to add voice to their support.
Saturday Morning: NFF President who arrived late on Friday addresses the girls. He promises an enhanced bonus of 4,000 dollars per player and a personal donation of 10,000 dollars should they qualify for the Olympics.
The girls applaud. They are in high Spirits.
1.30pm – The Falcons leave for the Stadium, where pre match formalities and warm up procedures are effected
3.00pm – End of warm up. Nigeria Supporters Club on top of the Stadium only to be drowned by the Camerounian Army band.
3.20 pm – The FIFA anthem breaks forth ushering the teams into the Stadium led by three Algerian referees, a Tunisian fourth official and Guinean Match Commissioner Diado Zaluconta (wife of a former Guinean High Commissioner to Nigeria).
3.25p.m – The Guest of honour, the Camerounian Minister of Sports accompanied by the Nigerian Ambassador and the NFF President among other dignitaries go down to meet the teams.
3.27 p.m – As the Nigerian National Anthem is played, the resounding and loud voices of Nigerians present, gives Falcons hope, support wise.
3.30 pm- Falcons Kick Off and take the battle to their opponents.
3.36pm – Ukaonu Helen takes the first shot to signal Nigeria’s will to emerge victorious.
3.38pm – Anxiety for Nigeria as Orji Ebere goes down clutching her ankle and not looking like wanting to get up.
3.40 pm – First corner kick of the match advantage Cameroun. Taken and lost.
3.41 pm – Nigeria retaliates with three corner kicks in quick succession, not utilized with Sunday Lopez missing a clear change to raise the goal curtain
3.46pm – Feudjio Raissa takes a surprise shot outside the eighteen and Dede Paries for a corner. The well taken corner is headed onto the cross bar by Ejangue Siliki to the relief of the Nigerian bench.
3.50pm – Sunday Lopez face to face with Goalkeer Ngo Ndom, Surrenders the ball.
3.52pm – Lopez again, this time, with two colleagues waiting for the vital pass, bereft of ideas and is dispossessed.
3.56pm- Free Kick for Nigeria, Perpetua floats it in Oparanozie hit the bar in the ensuring melee.
3.57 pm Ohale Marvis earns a yellow card for a rough tackle on Aboudi Onguene.
3.59pm – From out of the blues, over 40 Yards out, Zouga Edoa releases a rising shot that catches a badly placed Dede unawares. Cameroun 1 Nigeria 0
4.00 pm – Edoa earns a yellow for over celebrating.
4.01pm – Nigeria wakes from slumber, Ordega and Oparanozie on the offensive but brilliant goalkeeping by Ngo Ndom frustrates them.
Goal spurs the Camerounians. They are everywhere with petite Aboudi Onguene as the tormentor in Chief.
4.15pm – Presssure mounts, goal bound Camerounian comes in contact with Marvis in the box, foul, second yellow card for Marvis, Penalty.
Dede beaten, Cameroun 2 Nigeria 0
4.35 pm – start of second half. Fumbling Lopez is finally pulled out for Ofoegbu Gloria the Rivers Angel left footed defender who completely changes the game with her mobility, unyielding tackles and pin point passes.
4.40 pm: Ten woman Nigeria in control of the game. Perpetua after an anonymous first half in the mid field now shines in an attaching position but without complimentary aid.
4.40 pm- Perpetua again, meanders from the right, releases a shot that bounces off the keeper, Oparanozie pounces and scores…… offside says the assistant referee.
4.46pm: Aighewi Amenze comes in for Orji Ebere.
4.55 pm – Nigeria still dictating the pace, but poor finishing and the heroics of Camerounian goalkeeper Ndom put them at bay.
4.56 pm – Surprise Surprise as Oparanozie is Sacrificed for Iroko Gloria.
4.57pm – Orderga Francisca breaks free, Point blank range Ndom stops.
5.02pm – Scare for Nigeria Michanle Iven breaks free, beats Abi Onome, Dede’s body luckily blocks the goal bound ball.
5.05pm – Perprtua goes Solo, streaks down the right wing, and when everyone was expecting her to cross, hits a tricky one pass the goalkeeper. Cameroun 2 Nigeria 1.
5.14 pm – It’s Nigeria all the way, looking for the equalizer and the goal that will end hostilities but the one woman advantage Cameroun tells
5.30pm – First half of extra time starts and ends.
5.45 pm – Fatigue sets in, the second half of extra time points to penalty shoot out as both teams reduce the match to a walking pace.
6.00pm – Penalties. Perpetua scores, Rita scores, Iroko misses, Ukaonu scores, Ikidi rams the cross bar gifts Cameroun an Olympic ticket as the Falcons breakdown in tears. END OF A DREAM., ANGUISH OF A NATION.
HOW THEY PLAYED
Dede (5) Faith (6) Ukaonu (6) Rita (6 ) Onome (5) Marvis (3) Franciasca (5) Lopez (3) Opararanozie (6) Pepetua (7) Ebere (6)
SUBS: Ofoegbu (8) Aigbewi (6) Iroko (6)