The Nigerian women’s football team, the Super Falcons, extended their winning run to three games after a convincing 3-0 victory against New Zealand in a friendly encounter on Tuesday.
The match was played at the Mardan Sports Complex in Antalya, Turkey.
Despite being pinned to their own half in the early exchanges, the Super Falcons managed to create the first chance of the game. However, Esther Okoronkwo failed to direct Asisat Oshoala’s cross from a free-kick on target.
The Ferns responded with relentless attacking play and nearly took the lead on 20 minutes, but goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie produced a superb save to deny them.
Rasheed Ajibade had a chance to give the Super Falcons the lead a minute later but shot wide from inside the box. Jennifer Echegini then made a crucial tackle to deny New Zealand two minutes before the half-hour mark.
Oshoala had a goal-bound effort deflected for a corner on 32 minutes before Captain Onome Ebi finally broke the deadlock a minute later, nodding home Toni Payne’s cross.
The Super Falcons maintained their lead for the remainder of the first half and came out stronger after the break. Echegini tapped home the second goal four minutes after the restart, and Randy Waldrum’s side took total control of the game, passing the ball around with confidence. Substitute Desire Oparanozie completed the rout by netting the third deep into stoppage time.
The Super Falcons’ victory over New Zealand is a significant boost for the team as they continue to build towards the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which will be held in Australia and New Zealand.
The Nigerian team has been drawn in Group A alongside the hosts, as well as Sweden and the United States, and will be looking to make a strong impression in the tournament.