By Emmanuel Okogba
Nigeria’s Super Falcons will not be lifting a tenth title, just yet, after losing 5-4 on penalties to Morocco on Monday in a game that ended 1-1.
Sheer resilience saw the Super Falcons drag the game into extra-time and penalties despite losing two key players in the second half to red card offenses.
With Halimatu Ayinde and Rasheedat Ajibade getting their matching orders after a VAR review adjudged both players to have been culpable for dangerous tackles, the team held on for over 50 minutes more before losing gallantly to the Atlas Lionesses.
The loss makes it the third time Nigeria will not feature in a WAFCON final since its inception. The other two occasions ended in third and fourth place finishes in 2008 and 2012 respectively, and Equatorial Guinea the eventual winners.
Nigeria will face Zambia in a third place match on Friday while both South Africa and Morocco will face off in the final on Saturday for a chance to win a maiden WAFCON title.
Third Time Lucky for South Africa’s Banyana Banyana?
South Africa is no stranger to playing host teams in the final of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, WAFCON. The bad news, however, is that on both occasions they lost.
In 2008 and 2012, the two occasions where Nigeria failed to lift the trophy, South Africa, as they have now done in Morocco, qualified to the final to play host nation Equatorial Guinea. They fell 2-1 and 4-0 respectively.