Nigeria’s senior female national team, the Super Falcons has failed to qualify for the Women’s football event of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil after losing 1-2 to the Nzalang Nacional of Equatorial Guinea in the decisive leg of Africa qualifiers on Sunday in Bata, Equatorial Guinea.

The first fixture clash a fortnight ago at the Abuja National Stadium ended one goal apiece, meaning that the Falcons needed to avoid a defeat or score draw in the encounter to advance. And the Nigerian lady took a deserved lead through Ngozi Okobi in the 12th minute and was coasting home for a historic victory in Bata only to capitulate in the dying minutes of the game, conceding the equalizer through a free-kick in the 86th minute. Similar capitulation in the extra-time cost the Nigerian ladies the ticket as the host capitalized on a goal-mouth scramble to strike the decisive second goal with eight minutes left to play and kill off the game, thus advancing on a 3-2 aggregate.

The result means Equatorial Guinea will play South Africa, while Cameroon face Cote d’Ivoire for the two tickets available to Africa for the Women’s Football Tournament of next year’s Olympics. It will be the second time in a row that Super Falcons will be missing the women’s football event of the quadrennial multiple sports showpiece after missing out on the 2012 London Olympic Games.

By Olisemeka Obeche


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