BY KUNLE SOLAJA.
Battle Field: Complexe Sportif Mohamed V Casablanca, Morocco
If history and tradition are anything to go by, Nigeria’s Super Falcons are favoured to subdue Cameroon again in a potentially explosive Women’s Africa Cup of Nations tonight in Morocco.
In 14 previous encounters, Nigeria won definitively 12 times, drew another one which they won on penalties and just lost once in regulation time.
So dominating are the Nigerians on statistics the the Super Falcons have scored 31 goals against Cameroon and conceded only five to achieve a goal different of 26.
In fact, in encounters that dated back to 1991, it took Cameroon nine years to score a goal against Super Falcons. Even then, in that match, it was a heavy defeat for Cameroon as they were thrashed 5-1.
But gradually the Nigerian eastern neighbours are coming up. In the only defeat inflicted on Nigeria, the Super Falcons were denied the ticket to the London 2012 Olympics.
Sadly, the Super Falcons have been unable to get to the Olympic Games ever since. They lost out in the qualification to Rio 2016 and also to Tokyo 2020.
A loss to Cameroon in October 2011 in Yaounde triggered off the successive Nigeria’s non-qualification to the Olympics.
The Super Falcons had won the first leg 2-1 at home, but lost by the same margin in the return leg that then produced a 3-3 aggregate scores. Nigeria lost the ensuing tie-breaking penalty shoo-out 3-4.
Save for that, the football tradition at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations and qualification for the FIFA Women’s World Cup have been in Nigeria’s favour.
The Cameroonians were the springboard for NIgeria’s qualifications for the inaugural Women’s World Cup in China in 1991 after an aggregate score lines of 6-0.
Ever since, the Super Falcons have been a recurring decimal at the world stage. A defeat of Cameroon tonight will uphold the tradition as the qualification for the World Cup ticket is an added advantage of picking a semi-final slot in the on-going WAFCON.
In the framework of WAFCON, both teams are meeting in record eight times. All the past seven encounters have been in Super Falcons’ favour.
These include two final matches in 2014in Namibia and 2016 in Cameroon. There last encounter in Ghana was a thriller. Both played goalless draw even till extra time.
Nigeria prevailed in the cliff-hanging encounter 4-2 in the ensuing penalty shoot-out. Their encounter is projected as the star match of the quarter finals of Morocco 2022.
TALE OF THE TAPE
P W D L F A GD
Nigeria 14 12 1 1 31 5 26
Cameroon 14 1 1 12 5 31 -26
- 15June1991(WCq)Nigeria 2 – 0 Cameroon
- 30June1991 (WCq) Cameroon 0 – 4 Nigeria
- 27 Oct.1998 (AWC) Nigeria 6 – 0 Cameroon
- 6 Oct.2003 (AAG) Nigeria 1 – 0 Cameroon
- 18Nov.2000 (AWC) Cameroon 0 – 3 Nigeria
- 25 Aug.2005 (F) Nigeria 1 – 0 Cameroon
- 11 Nov. 2010 (AWC) Cameroon 1-5 Nigeria
- 5 Jul.2011 (Oq) Nigeria 2 – 1 Cameroon
- 22 Oct. 2011 (Oq) Cameroon 2-1 Nigeria
- 29 Oct. 2012 (AWC) Cameroon 1-2 Nigeria
- 29 Apr. 2014 (F) Nigeria 1-0 Nigeria
- 25 Oct. 2014 (AWC final) Nigeria 2-0 Cameroon
- 3 Dec. 2016 (AWC final) Cameroon 0-1 Nigeria
- 27 Nov. 2019 (AWC semi) Cameroon 0-0 Nigeria (2-4pso)