Falcons advance to AWCON semi-finals, to meet South Africa Tuesday

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Defending champions Nigeria and arch-rivals Ghana on Saturday completed the line-up for the semi-finals at the ongoing Women’s African Cup of Nations (AWCON) in Cameroon.The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the west African sides advanced after convincing wins in their ultimate Group B matches to finish seven points after three matches each.

Nigeria’s Super Falcons put four goals past debutants Kenya in Limbe to finish tops in the group, while Ghana overcame Mali in the other fixture in Yaounde.

The Falcons however finished top of the group, courtesy of superior goals.NAN reports that Mali garnered three points to finish third in the group, while Kenya were placed last after they earned no point from three matches.

Nigeria got off the better of the two teams, taking a two-goal lead after only seven minutes by capitalising on the sloppiness of the Kenyan defence.

Midfielder Ngozi Okobi crowned her first start of the competition with the opener after three minutes, before Faith Ikidi headed home the second four minutes later.

The Harambee Starlets soon came out of their shell with some delightful passing from Mary Wanjiku, Esse Akida and Janet Bundi.

The Nigerians remained dominant and Uchechi Sunday should have increased the tally on 23 minutes after Asisat Oshoala put her through, but she shot across the face of goal.

Kenya coach David Ouma was forced to make his first substitution on 36 minutes when Bundi was stretched off following an aerial battle with Nigerian defender Onome Ebi.

Oshoala took the game beyond the debutants with the third goal eight minutes after recess and take her tally to six so far.

Substitute Desire Oparanozie put the icing on the cake on 89 minutes with a cool finish from a Francisca Ordega assist.

Elsewhere in Yaounde, Ghana’s Black Queens went up just before the break through central defender Linda Eshun.

Samira Suleman doubled the lead on 68 minutes before captain Elizabeth Addo converted a penalty kick on 79 minutes.

Binta Diarra grabbed a consolation for the Malians three minutes from time.

In the semi-finals, hosts Cameroon will face Ghana in Yaounde while Nigeria will battle South Africa in Limbe, both on Tuesday.

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