Guingamp of France striker, Desire Oparanozie has added her voice to congratulatory messages trailing Nigeria’s female national team, Super Falcons’ conquest of the 2019 West African Football Union (WAFU) Women’s Cup of Nations.
The Falcons required a 5-4 win on penalties to edge out the hosts, Cote d’Ivoire in Saturday’s final, which ended 1-1 at regulation time, and Oparanozie has declared it as another sign of better days ahead of the Nigerian squad.
Oparanozie stated further that winning this year’s WAFU Cup with a large set of home-based players, in contrast with when the main squad could only place third last year, shows huge potentials in the team.
Oparanozie was ecstatic, after the Falcons swept to glory in Abidjan on Sunday, following an interesting final match at Stade Robert Champroux.
The Ivorians took the lead in the 43rd minute of the encounter, when Spain-based Ange Koko N’Guessan, who also scored against Mali in the semi final, beat goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie with a free-kick.
Afterwards, the nine-time African champions failed to convert several chances, until USA-based undergraduate, Uchenna Kanu drew Nigeria level in the fourth minute of added time of the second half.
In the resultant penalties’ shoot-out, Amarachi Okoronkwo, Maryam Ibrahim, Alice Ogebe, Joy Bokiri and stand-in captain, Evelyn Nwabuoku made no mistake from the spot, while the Ivorians lost one of theirs.
On the whole, the African champions scored 23 goals in the tournament, conceding only two.
They his Burkina Faso 5-1, thrashed Niger Republic 15-0, defeated Mali 2-0 and pipped Ghana 4-2 on penalties after a 0-0 draw.
Adding to Nigeria’s glory, Kanu, a former junior international and current student of South Eastern University, USA, finished the regional tournament as top scorer with nine goals, much to the delight of Oparanozie.
Subsequently, Oparanozie, who will captain the main team at next month’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, took to social media to celebrate the WAFU Cup win, which she said is further motivation for them to go out and do well at the upcoming Female Mundial,
Oparanozie posted: “Bravo ladies. I knew you wouldn’t disappoint. Even in the face of adversity you showed strength and resilience.
“I couldn’t be more proud. #WAFUChampions #WeAreDoneRulingAfrica #TimeToRuleTheWorld.”