Super Falcons lost the third place match to the Copper Queens of Zambia 1-0 on Friday in Morocco.
Nigeria has dominated African football for years winning the championship nine times out of possible twelve. However, the Super Falcons could be losing their grip and dominance in WAFCON with other African teams strengthening up and trying to be on competitive terms with Nigeria.
For the first time since 2012, Nigeria will be ending their WAFCON tournament without a medal. Nigeria has only missed out of the gold medal on three occasions, winning bronze in 2008 and settling for fourth in 2012 and 2022.
The win on Friday means the Copper Queens have been crowned with bronze for the first time in their women footballing history. This tournament is also their highest ever finish at the WAFCON.
Super Falcons were favourites going into the game but were caught off guard by the Copper Queens. This is the first time the Zambians will take one over Nigeria after the previous two encounter ended 10-0 on aggregate in favour of the Super Falcons.
Randy Waldrum’s team dominated the start of the game with Francisca Ordega and Ucheibe coming close from 12 yards to break the deadlock but saw their effort blow past the crossbar.
Few minutes later, the Copper Queens played their second shot of the match. The shot struck by Katongo hit the upright but ricocheted off the back of the Nigerian goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie to give the Copper Queens a 1-0 before the half-hour mark.
Monday Gift came close to levelling the scoreline for Nigeria but found her one v one effort go off target.
After the halftime break, Super Falcons kept creating chances but poor conversion from the forwards didn’t help turn the course of the game to Nigeria’s favour.
Nigeria has now failed to win any medal in this tournament for the second time in their history.
However, the Super Falcons still qualified for next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in New Zealand.