Nigeria thrashed debutantes Zambia 6-0 in their penultimate Group A game at the Caf African Women Championship on Tuesday to edge closer to sealing their semi-final fate in Windhoek.
Goals from Ngozi Okobi, Osinachi Ohale, a Desire Oparanozie brace, Asisat Oshoala and Perpetua Nkwocha’s strike helped the Super Falcons cruise past ten-woman Zambia, after Grace Zulu was sent off for an innocuous tackle on Oparanozie on 39th minute.
Nigeria now has six points from a possible six following their Match Day 1 win over Cote d’Ivoire and will next face hosts Namibia, who lost to the Ivoirians 3-1 in the latter group game of Tuesday.
A point for the coach Edwin Okon-led side on Friday will all but secure their passage into the next round with Cote d’Ivoire favoured to join them in the last 8, with a win over Zambia.
At the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Tuesday’s first match the six-time champions settled into the proceedings in no time with Okobi connecting from an Oshoala’s effort from close range.
Three minutes later, Ohale rose above her marker to connect with a well-taken free-kick by Ngozi Ebere, who was adjudged most outstanding player for her contribution.
Zambian goalkeeper Hazel Nali was impressive for the next quarter of an hour, keeping out Oshoala’s effort after a neat one two with Okobi but couldn’t keep out an Oparanozie spot-kick after a Zambian defender handled the ball in the penalty area.
Nali again kept Nigeria away from wrecking more havoc, denying Oshoala’s effort with her feet following a one-on-one situation on 28 minutes.
The She-Popolo were then reduced to ten woman on 39 minutes when Zulu was sent off for a second bookable foul on Oparanozie.
Nigeria stepped more on the gas pedal after the break and after Nali had denied Oshoala an opportunity to open her account three minutes after the break from close range, the U-20 heroine’s hard work finally paid off five minutes after the hour mark, heading home from Ebere’s corner.
Oparanozie completed her brace on 81 minutes before veteran forward Nkwocha opened her championship account six minutes from time, slotting past substitute goalkeeper Mirriam Katamanda who had replaced the injured Nali.