Super Falcons on Sunday began the Women’s African Cup of Nations (AFCON) on a winning note, as they beat Mali 6-0 in their first Group B game in Cameroon.
Four goals from foreign based Asisat Oshola, Franscisa Ordega and Uchechi Sunday was all Nigeria needed to stamp its authority.
US based Ordega started the rout with a smart finish from Ugo Njoku’s run down the Malian defence in the 22nd minute.
Four minutes after Ordega’s goal, midfielder Halimatu Ayinde came close after a good move but her move was unsuccessful.
Five minutes before recess, Oshoala read brilliantly a through pass, beating Malian goalkeeper Goundo Samake before slotting into an empty net for her first and Nigeria’s second goal.
A minute into the second half, Sunday again missed with only Samake to beat from a Faith Ikidi pass, but she made it three from the penalty spot a minute later after Osarenoma Igbinovia was brought down in the box.
Thereafter, it became an ‘Oshoala show’. In the 62nd minute, Oshoala latched onto a header by Chioma Wogu to outrun a defender and the goalkeeper before smashing into the roof of the net.
Six minutes later, she also benefitted from another Wogu pass to meander past two defenders and slot past the goalkeeper.
Her fourth, and Nigeria’s sixth, came from another brilliant pass from Captain Rita Chikwelu, with 12 minutes left.
The Super Falcons players will likely encounter stronger opposition on Wednesday from Ghana’s Black Queens.
The AFCON tournament, which began on Nov. 19, is expected to end on Dec. 3.