By Hanifat Mustapha at Agege Stadium:
African champions Super Falcons of Nigeria have qualified for the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) in Ghana after thrashing Gambia 6-0 in the second leg of their play-off tie at the Agege Stadium on Monday.
Four goals from Desire Oparanozie and a brace from Asisat Oshoala secured the emphatic win for the Super Falcons who went through 7-0 on aggregate after winning the first-leg 1-0.
They will now head to the 2018 AWCON which will begin in November this year and serve as qualifiers for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup in France.
At the 2016 AWCON in Cameroon, the Super Falcons pipped the Indomitable Lionesses to claim their eighth African title.
The Super Falcons got off to the perfect start through Oparanozie who converted a third minute penalty after Francisca Ortega was fouled inside the box.
Oshoala thought she had doubled the Super Falcons lead in the eighth minute only for her easy tap in to be ruled out for offside.
Amarachi Okonkwo went close in the 29th minute with a 25-yard screamer which came off the bar.
Five minutes to the end of the first half, Oshoala had a chance to get on the score sheet after brilliantly beating her marker and rounding the keeper only to see her effort go inches wide.
On the stroke of half-time,Oshoala made up for her earlier miss as she scored to make it 2-0.
In the 49th minute, the Super Falcons went 3-0 up thanks to Oparanozie who tapped in Oshoala ‘s cross.
Oparanozie bagged her second goal in the 65th minute after racing onto Ngozi Okobi’s pass and firing past the Gambian keeper to give the Super Falcons a 4-0 lead.
The Super Falcons continued to torment the Gambian defence and were rewarded again on 74 minutes thanks to Oshoala who breezed past the visitors’ defence and slotted home to bring the score to 5-0.
With seven minutes left, Oparanozie grabbed her fourth goal of the game to extend the Super Falcons lead to six.