Nigeria's forward Anam Imo (C) vies for the ball with Germany's defender Tanja Pawollek (L) and Germany's defender Sophia Kleinherne (R) during the Women World Cup U20 Group D football match between Nigeria and Germany at the Marville Stadium in Saint-Malo, northwestern France, on August 6, 2018. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo credit should read CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP/Getty Images)

Anam Imo Saves Falcons’ Blushes Against Slovakia

A late winning goal by Nasarawa Amazons of Nasarawa star, Anam Imo saved the blushes of Nigeria’s female national team, Super Falcons, as they gave up a healthy lead against Slovakia, before barely managing to win 4-3 in their second match at the Cyprus International Women Cup.

Although the Falcons looked better battlers and more settled than they were against Austria, which they lost 4-1 to in their first match on Wednesday, Thomas Dennerby’s side struggled for form against the Slovaks.

In ther final analysis, Imo ensured Nigeria toppled Slovakia at Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium, Larnaca, where Dennerby made seven changes to the team that started against Austria.

Chiamaka Nnadozie replaced suspended Tochukwu Oluehi in goal, while Ini Umotong, Ngozi Okobi, Josephine Chukwunonye, Ngozi Ebere, Alice Ogebe and Fransisca Ordega also gained starting berths for Friday’s tie.

Falcons’ captain, Rita Chikwelu put her team ahead barely eight minutes into the game, after which Osinachi Ohale made it two from a set piece to double the lead in the 28th minute.

Chikwelu got her brace seven minutes before the break, with an assist from Ordega, but the Slovaks roared back after the restart to pull level, with Jana Vojteková kickstarting the goals in the 67th minute before a brace from Lucia Haršanyová sealed their nine-minute spell of brilliance.

Ordega soon made way for Imoh, who went on to snatch the winner eight minutes from time off an assist by another substitute, Asisat Oshoala to spare Dennerby’s blushes.

The players and coach, though, will have to redouble their efforts to get anything out of their last group game on Sunday against Belgium, who whip Slovakia 3-0 in their first match.

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