Super Falcons held in Douala: Missed chances haunt Nigeria in goalless draw with Lionesses

Nigeria's Super Falcons were left frustrated after a goalless draw against Cameroon in the first leg of their 2024 Summer Olympics qualifiers in Douala.

Despite dominating spells and numerous chances, the nine-time African champions couldn't find the crucial breakthrough, leaving the tie delicately balanced heading into the return leg in Abuja.

The Super Falcons started brightly, showcasing their familiar attacking flair with early pressure and forcing throw-ins. However, the game settled into a tactical battle, with both teams vying for control.

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Photo by NFF Media

The first half-chance fell to Toni Payne in the 27th minute, but the midfielder couldn't capitalize. Cameroon responded with their own opportunity twelve minutes later, but the ever-reliable Chiamaka Nnadozie, one of the world's best goalkeepers, stood firm to deny them.

Second half of missed chances

The second half saw Cameroon emerge with renewed purpose, buoyed by the home crowd's fervent support.

They initially dominated possession, but the Super Falcons slowly clawed their way back into the game, creating a string of chances. However, Lady Luck seemed to desert them, with Jennifer Echegini's goal in the 55th minute ruled offside for a close call.

Asisat Oshoala, usually a prolific scorer, also struggled to find her rhythm, leaving Nigerian fans yearning for a breakthrough.

Seeking a spark, Coach Randy Waldrum brought on Rofiat Imuran and Babajide Rinsola, hoping their fresh legs could unlock the Cameroon defense.

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Photo by NFF Media

Tosin Demehin's dangerous free-kick in the 80th minute caused panic in the box, but the Lionesses managed to scramble clear. Despite their late surge, the Super Falcons couldn't find the elusive goal, leaving the tie precariously poised at 0-0.

Advantage Cameroon?

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Photo by NFF Media

With the away goal rule still in effect, this goalless draw gives a slight advantage to Cameroon heading into the second leg in Abuja.

However, the Super Falcons, with their experience and home advantage, will be determined to convert their dominance into goals and secure their passage to the next round.

The return leg at the MKO Abiola National Stadium on Monday promises to be a tense and exciting affair, with both teams fighting for their Olympic dreams.

Super Falcons starting  line up

Chiamaka Nnadozie, Michelle Alozie, Osinachi Ohale, Ashleigh Plumptre, Tosin Demehin, Halimatu Ayinde, Christy Ucheibe, Deborah Abiodun, Rasheedat Ajibade, Asisat Oshoala, Toni Payne

Super Falcons held in Douala: Missed chances haunt Nigeria in goalless draw with Lionesses
Andrew Randa

Andrew Randa is a seasoned Africa sports journalist, and a former Media Officer for Nigeria's U-20 national team. He is widely acknowledged as an authority on the NPFL and African football, Randa is esteemed for his expertise in football content creation. Furthermore, he holds the distinction of being Nigeria's foremost sports kit designer and a trailblazer in the realm of sports graphics in Nigeria.