As Nigeria, South Africa clash in semifinal again
The girls have been separated from the ladies at the on-going 10th African Women’s Nations Cup holding in Cameroon. Tomorrow, the defending champions, Super Falcons of Nigeria, will trade tackles with the Banyana Banyana of South Africa in one of the semifinals here in Limbe.
The other semifinal clash is between the host nation, Lionesses of Cameroon and the Black Queens of Ghana in Yaounde. While Nigeria thrashed the Harambee Starlets of Kenya 4-0 in their last group match to book their semifinal ticket on Saturday, the Black Queens recorded a 3-1 victory over Mali.
Two years ago in Windhoek, Namibia, the Falcons and Banyana Banyana met in the semifinal stage of the competition, with the Nigerians recording a 2-0 victory to book a final ticket, which they won.
This time, Coach Florence Omagbemi says the Falcons would give the South Africans the same treatment.
“We came to Cameroun to defend our title,” Omagbemi said after leading the Falcons to a 4-0 victory over debutant Kenya on Saturday at the hilltop Omisport Stadium in Limbe. “First, we want to celebrate the victory over Kenya, and then, we will focus attention on the game against South Africa.
“We are taking the matches one at a go. The competition has moved from the group stage to the knock stage now, and there is no room to correct mistakes once you are beaten. So, we will approach the semifinal with South Africa with a different idea that can give us victory. The Banyana Banyana is a great team any day, but I am sure the Super Falcons will cage them here.”
On the 4-0 scoreline against Kenya on their last group match, Omagbemi said she was not disappointed, adding: “The Kenyans may be new in this competition, but I must give them kudos for their good performance. Any team that qualified to play in this competition is not a push over.”
Though, the Kenyans have been knocked out of the race, their qualification for Cameroun 2016 AFCON has opened the door for women football league in the east African country.
According to Coach David Ouma, shortly after the team qualified for the championship in Cameroun, the government of Kenya decided to organize a women football league, which he said, would lead to discovering of more talents soon.
Kenya shocked the Black Queens of Ghana in their first group match by scoring the opener before the ladies in black uniform (referees) gave the Ghanaians what many saw as a soft penalty to move on.