Thursday, September 23, 2021

Ghana was tough, but I am disappointed in referee, says Omagbemi

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Super Falcons’ Halimatu Ayinde (left) takes on Ghana’s Elizabeth Addo during their Group B game at the on-going Cameroun 2016 African Women Nations Cup…yesterday. PHOTO: CAF.

Super Falcons Coach, Florence Omagbemi, applauded the Black Queens of Ghana for giving her side a tough battle yesterday at the on-going African Women Nations Cup holding in Cameroon.

Nigeria and Ghana settled for a 1-1 draw in the game, which kept the West Africans on top of the four-team Group B.

Speaking after the game, Omagbemi said the referee’s calls at times were dodgy, claiming that Nigeria deserved at least one penalty in the game.

She said: “The game was great and both teams played well. Ghana gave us a good match and it was an impressive game. But the foul on Asisat Oshoala was a clear penalty in my own assessment. I was disappointed in the referee not making the call.”

She dismissed insinuations that Nigeria was overconfident going into the game following the Falcons’ 6-0 defeat of Mali in their opening game.

“Today, we played against a good team and it was a good match by both teams. A draw (1-1) is not a bad result. We played well and were not expecting to draw. I am looking forward to the game with Kenya and get a good result. We just want to play convincingly against Kenya and hopefully top the group,” she said.

In the game, which attracted a sizable number of Nigerians living in Cameroun, the Super Falcons drew the first blood when Asisat Oshoala scored her fifth of the tournament in the 19th minute at the Stade Omnisports Limbe. But the Nigerians were somewhat too anxious in front of goal and missed several chances.

Ghana drew level two minutes before recess when Ugo Njoku committed a foul in the box and Elizabeth Addo made no mistake from the spot.

In the second half, the reigning champions piled much pressure on their West African counterparts, but the Black Queens were well organized at the rear and kept the scoreline even.

Oshoala should have put Nigeria ahead in the 63rd minute but failed to connect a cross by Francisca Ordega, and in the 77th minute, substitute Florence Dadson came close at the other end, but goalkeeper Alaba Jonathan timed her run well.

A brilliant move by Faith Ikidi pierced the Ghanaian defence with two minutes left, only for Ordega to fluff the opportunity with Desire Oparanozie unmarked behind her.

On the dot of time, penalty appeals by Nigeria were waived away by the referee after Oshoala was upended in the box by the Ghanaian goalkeeper.

Also commenting on the game, Ghana Coach, Yussif Basigi, said his team was not satisfied with the draw because they came to win.

“We are not happy to draw, but it is good to draw when the need arises. Ghana versus Nigeria can go either way.

“If for any reason we draw, we have to take it in good faith. Against Mali, Nigeria opened up but against us it was very close. The competition is still on. We have to approach the Mali with all the seriousness to win and qualify convincingly,” he said.

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