By JOHN EGBOKHAN
Nigerian football continued its downhill movement yesterday as the Super Falcons of Nigeria failed to qualify the London 2012 Olympics Games, after they lost to their Cameroonian counterparts 4-3 on penalties. Aggregate scores stood at 3-3 Saturday.
The Super Falcons 2-1 advantage from the reverse fixture in August was overturned by a similar 2-1 win by Cameroon
Cameroon opened scoring after 32 minutes before they doubled their lead on 40 minutes when defender Ohale Osinachi caused a penalty and was sent off.
However, Perpetua Nkwocha pulled a goal back for Nigeria in the closing moments of the encounter.
Extra time of 30 minutes failed to produce any more goals.
In the resulting penalty shootout, Cameroon triumphed 4-3 with experienced defender Faith Ikidi missing the final kick for Nigeria.
This will be the first time Nigeria’s women will not feature at the Olympics since 2000.
Interestingly, the Falcons bashed Cameroon 5-1 last year in the African Women’s Championship in South Africa on their way to a sixth continental crown.
Cameroon, who took the place of disqualified Equatorial Guinea, now join Bayana Bayana of South Africa to represent Africa at the 2012 London Olympics.
Falcons failure, has compounded the woes that have befallen Nigerian football in the last one year. Only a fortnight back, the Super Eagles, failed to qualify for next year’s African Cup of Nations. The dust was yet to settle from that great loss when the duo of Enyimba and Sunshine Stars, crashed out of their respective CAF competitions.
Now with this latest setback, the doom which had enveloped our football, is spreading like wide-fire and football fans would be hoping that the national U-23 team can restore some hope when they attempt to qualify for the men’s football event at the Eiight-nattion tournament in Morocco, to determine the three teams that qualify automatically for the London Games.