African champions Nigeria have taken a big step forward in their Tokyo 2020 Olympics African qualifying first round fixture against Algeria with a 2-0 victory over the Algerians in the first leg in North Africa on Wednesday night.
Coach Thomas Dennerby had taken only home-based professionals to the battlefield in Blida, with foreign-based stars opting out due to club commitments. But it proved an opportunity for the home girls to make a statement.
Relentless pressure told on the home team’s defence as a defender conceded an own goal after only 14 minutes, but there was to be no more goal in the first period despite the visiting team enjoying much of the possession.
Nasarawa Amazons’ petite midfielder and former junior international, Amarachi Okoronkwo lashed home in the 53rd for Nigeria’s second, completing a miserable few days for Algerian women football, which also on Wednesday suffered the agony of losing the bronze medal match of the 12th African Games women’s football tournament to host nation Morocco in Rabat.
On Monday, Algeria’s U20 girls received a 3-0 spanking from their Nigerian counterparts in the semi finals at the African Games in Morocco.
Victory at the Stade Mustapha Tchaker in Blida means the Super Falcons are standing on robust credit ground ahead of Tuesday’s return leg against the Algerians at the Agege Stadium, Lagos.