The stage is set for the final clash of the 2016 Africa Women’s Nations Cup taking place in Cameroon.
A fierce battle is expected on Saturday at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Omnisports Stadium, Yaoundé, as the Super Falcons trade tackles with the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon.
While the Falcons aim to retain the AWCON title they have won seven times, host nation Cameroon are keen for their maiden title.
Nigeria defeated their South African counterparts 1-0 in Limbe to reach the finals, with Desire Oparanozie scoring the goal that separated the two teams.
Cameroon on their part zoomed into the finals on the back of a narrow 1-0 victory over the Black Queens of Ghana.
Indeed, the Indomitable Lioness of Cameroon have had a perfect competition so far, claiming victory in all their matches, as they have scored six goals and conceded none.
Cameroon will aim for revenge on home soil, having suffered massive defeats against Nigeria in the past.
Cameroon’s Coach, Enow Ngachu, is high on confidence having declared that his side will not settle for less, adding that they have a very good chance to claim the trophy for the first time.
“I believe in the ability of my girls and I know definitely this year, adding to the advantage that we are playing at home, we have a very good chance,” he said.
“There has been massive improvement in the team, and definitely, we expect to do better. There are still a few things to do and I believe we are 100% ready.”
Regardless of the optimism shown by the Cameroonian Coach, the Super Falcons of Nigeria are favourites given their incredible record at the AWCON.
The Super Falcons have won seven of the nine editions since the competition started. A victory will see them continue their dominance in Africa.
Florence Omagbemi’s team started this year’s tournament on a bright note, trouncing Mali 6-0, and drawing 1-1 against a stubborn Ghanaian side. But they looked unstoppable in their 4-0 victory against Kenya in their final group game.
Meanwhile, the Super Falcons had a sterner test in the semifinals, managing just a 1-0 win over South Africa.
Super Falcons coach Florence Omagbemi is on the verge of making history by winning the continental championship both as a player and coach.
Head to head
Nigeria clearly has the upper hand in past meetings between the two nations.
The Super Falcons have defeated Cameroon seven times, played two draws, with Cameroon recording a famous victory against Nigeria in the third place of the competition in 2012.
Saturday’s final at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Omnisports Stadium will be a repeat of the 2014 final between the two countries, which the Falcons won 2-0 to lift the title the seventh time.
Though Nigeria has varying attacking options, much attention will definitely be on Asisat Oshoala who is the top scorer of the competition with six goals from four matches.
Already, the Nigeria Football Federation president, Amaju Pinnick, as well as the Sports Minister, Solomon Dalung, have traveled to Cameroon to cheer the Falcons to victory.
Before departing the country, the NFF president said he was hoping for a belated birthday gift from the Falcons as they go up against the highly –motivated host team.
“I will be at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium to cheer the girls to victory, alongside some of my colleagues on the NFF Executive Committee. The Honourable Minister of Youth and Sports, Barrister Solomon Dalung, will also be there.
“The Falcons will have no reason to feel intimidated. The pressure is on the host nation and their team. Our girls have the skills and the confidence to carry the day.”