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2022 WAFCON : Super Falcons settle for fourth as the Copper Queens maiden bronze at the tournament

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After several years with a good display at the WAFCON, Super Falcons of Nigeria failed to bring their A game as they lost to the Copper queens of Zambia in Casablanca.

Zambia won this game 1-0 against a wasteful Nigeria side to win bronze after a third-place play-off on Friday night.

The only goal of the game was scored by Evarine Katongo at the half hour mark after a great shot out of the box, an effort that separated by both the Super Falcons and Copper Queen’s at the Stade Mohammed V in Casablanca.

In a game that was purely dominated by the Super Falcons most of the time before Vincentia Amedome blew her final whistle.

Into the game action.

With a goalless first half and how dull it was at some point, the first chance fell to Nigeria after a good ball from Captain Ngozi Okobi but Ifeoma Onumonu missed from close range

The Copper Queens also were close to getting their first of the game when Ashleigh Plumptre of the Super Falcons cleared the ball after a good cross sent into a dangerous area by Xiomala Mapepa in the 7th minute.

However, Nigeria dominated the opening quarter having a number of chances, but failing to put them away.

But a few minutes to the half hour mark, goalkeeper Nnadozie Chiamaka made a world save to stop Mapepa from finding the net.

It continued to look ugly for the reigning African champions when Copper Queens midfielder Katongo made the Super Falcons pay for their missed chances to put Bruce Mwape’s women ahead.

From there on it was a balanced game with Zambia having a little edge in Possession but posing their threat on the left side of the pitch.

In the second stanza The Copper queen’s made an early substitute bringing on Chintundu for Zulu. Minutes later, Gift Monday who made a good move away from Musashi after a good one two exchange with Okobi put the ball wide of Nali’s goal in close range.

The Super Falcons continued to pile pressure on Zambia’s defense slotting a through ball for Okobi to put wide.

But minutes later, Monday was the culprit as she wasted another chance, something that sent the Nigerian supporters into more disappointment.

With eight minutes to the hour mark, from a Nigerian corner, Grace Chanda broke away to give the ball to fellow Zambian Mapepa but Defenders recovered well.

After along time of play, both the Zambians’ defence and Nigerian looked so hard to crack as both failed in their quest to for goals.

Therefore this meant that Nigeria won the bronze of the 2022 Total Energies Women Africa Cup of Nations.

This was the first time in history that the Super Falcons have finished without a medal at the WAFCON.

On the other side, the Copper Queens clitched their first medal of the tournament since their maiden appearance in 1995.

This same team have also qualified for the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the first time months after representing Africa at the Tokyo Olympics a gesture that show how the teams’ growth.

On Saturday, it will be a battle of who is prepared well enough to win the 2022 WAFCON trophy as Hosts Morocco will be facing SouthAfrica in the final.

Jeremiah Mugalu

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