Nigeria secure ninth AWCON final after penalty shootout win against Cameroon

Nigeria booked their place in the final of the 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations following a penalty shootout against Cameroon.

Ngozi Ebere hit the winning spot kick to send the Super Falcons to their third consecutive final, and also next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup finals.

The Nigerians, who will meet South Africa in Saturday’s final, maintained their status as one of the members of the elite group of only seven — which also includes USA, Brazil, Sweden, Norway, Japan and Germany — to have qualified for every World Cup since inception in 1991.

It was Cameroon’s third loss against Nigeria in three consecutive AWCON tournaments, having lost 2-0 in the 2014 final in Namibia and 1-0 in the 2016 final at home against the record winners, who are aiming for their ninth title.

The Indomitable Lionesses dominated the game as the Super Falcons struggled to get the ball, let alone keep it. Joseph Brian’s ladies only have themselves to blame after failing to make the most of their possession in the one-sided game.

Nigeria, on the other hand, had goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi to thank for some saves, particularly pushing Ngo Mbelecks long-range shot over the crossbar in the second half and stopping Gaelle Enganamouit’s penalty in the shootout.

The game went into extra time after regulation time ended goalless. And with extra time also failing to produce any goals, the game had to be decided by penalties.

Thomas Dennerby’s side won the shootout 4-2 as Cameroon missed twice, while Onome Ebi, Rasheedat Ajibade, Asisat Oshoala and Ngozi Ebere converted their penalties — to set up a final clash with South Africa, who beat Mali 2-0 in the other semi-final fixture•

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