The Super Falcons have qualified for the quarter-finals of the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations after a comfortable 4-0 win against debutants Burundi in their final Group C game, Completesports.com reports.
A brace from Uchenna Kanu and a goal each from Rasheedat Ajibade and Peace Efih secured the Falcons’ second win in the group.
Falcons coach Randy Waldrum made some chances as Nicole Payne, Peace Efih and Christy Ucheibe all made their first start of the tournament.
In the group’s other game, Banyana Banyana of South Africa recorded their third win after pipping Botswana 1-0.
The South Africans broke the deadlock with 10 minutes left thanks to Nthabiseng Majiya.
Despite the defeat, Botswana qualify alongside Nigeria and South Africa into the quarter-finals.
South Africa top the group with nine points, the Falcons finish in second spot on six points while Botswana placed third on three points and clinched one of the third best placed positions.
The quarter-final pairing will see the Falcons face Cameroon on Thursday while South Africa and Botswana will take on Tunisia and Morocco respectively.
Against Burundi, the Falcons had the first opportunity on second minute but Ifeoma Onumonu was her shot go hits over the bar.
In the sixth minute Kanu almost put the Falcons ahead but a timely intervention denied her a tap in.
The Falcons continued to press for the opener and had another chance on 13 minutes after Onumonu ran on to a long pass but her goal bound shot was saved.
The Falcons eventually took the lead on 25 minutes thanks to Ajibade who converted from the penalty spot after she was fouled by Burundi keeper.
Burundi’s keeper was replaced due to injury after colliding with Ajibade which resulted into the penalty.
In the 28th minute Efih doubled the Falcons’ lead as she pounced on a lose ball inside the box to slot into an empty net from a cross by Ajibade.
Just a minute later Kanu made it 3-0 as she tapped home Ajibade’s low cross.
In the 38th minute Kanu thought she had scored the fourth goal for the Falcons but her effort was ruled out for offside.
With just a minute left Toni Payne ran on a long pass on the right but her cross was cleared away.
Just one minute into the second half Kanu grabbed her second goal and Falcons’ fourth from close range.
In the 57th minute Christy Ucheibe tried a shot from distance but it came off the post.
Ucheibe went close again on 63 minutes as she hit a shot inside the box from a rebound off a corner which went off target.
With 15 minutes left a Burundi player tried a shot from distance but it was well dealt with by Chiamaka Nnadozie who had been on holiday throughout the game.
And on 84 minutes the Falcons were close to extending their lead but Burundi keeper came off her lines to avert the danger.
By James Agberebi
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