NFF Set to Petition CAF Over Poor Officiating Loss to Morocco
The Super Falcons, who were down to nine players, were eliminated by the hosts Morocco in the semi-final on Monday, ending Nigeria’s attempt to win the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations.
Rasheedat Ajibade, the winner of the quarterfinal, and Halimatu Ayinde’s dismissals severely hurt Nigeria, who went on to lose 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. Morocco also failed to fully utilize their numerical advantage throughout the match.
Despite being without a player, Nigeria took the lead when Moroccan goalkeeper Yasmin Mrabet placed the ball in her own net. However, the hosts quickly responded by tying the score eight minutes later when Sanaa Mssoudy of FAR Rabat scored after some terrible Falcons defending.
Super Falcons Gave a Good Fight Even With 2 Players Off
Although they had a two-woman lead, the Atlas Lionesses were unable to win and had to undergo penalties in order to advance to the final. Winger Fatima Tagnaout scored an equalizer minutes later.
When Ifeoma Onumonu missed the solitary penalty in the shootout, this team became just the third Nigerian team to not advance to the Wafcon final, let alone take home the championship.
There will be an analysis of this failure in the coming days and weeks, but regrettably—yet again this year—a significant African competition was maybe jeopardized by supporters brandishing lasers.
The fact that four of Nigeria’s penalty takers were still able to convert is a testament to their perseverance. Lasers were shone in their eyes both as they prepared to convert and as they waited in the center circle before taking spot kicks.
Chiamaka Nnadozie, the goalkeeper, had to suffer having lasers shone in her eyes while getting ready for the shootout and while waiting for the North Africans’ takers. Nnadozie had to keep Morocco at bay frequently throughout the game.
Of the five spotkicks she faced, she was unable to save any of them.
The goalkeeper was eager to lay the responsibility at the feet of the fans brandishing lasers.
According to Arab News, “The whole Moroccan team knows that Nigeria is a superb team, thus to beat us they had to distract us.” “They took every action possible to divert our attention. This was the worst game I’ve ever played since I started playing football.
She continued, “They won, but this is not a win for me. “The refereeing wasn’t exactly up to par.
We had nine players compared to their 11; if they had been better, they would have scored and won. That is to demonstrate to you our superiority.
Super Falcons Fans React
Falcons fans were quick to point out how Morocco needed questionable officiating—Nigeria did get away with several potential handballs in the box, despite having two players set off—and lasers to defeat the tournament favorites, while others continued to accuse the continent’s football authorities of stacked the deck in the hosts’ favor.
Buhari, Pinnick Hail Super Falcons for Gallant Display Against Morocco
The Nigerian Super Falcons’ valiant performance against Morocco’s women’s national football team in the second Semifinal of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations on Monday has been praised by President Muhammadu Buhari (WAFCON).
For their Friday match against Zambia for third place, the Super Falcons have already made their way to Casablanca.
The President said there were many excellent outcomes for the Nigerian team to take home and better prepare for the next competition, even if many will be upset with the Moroccan victory on penalties, in a press statement released by his Media Adviser, Femi Adesina, on Tuesday.
The girls displayed their ability and class in front of a home crowd of 45,000 while playing with two players less than usual, which President Buhari stated gives him hope.
The President was confident that the female team would achieve great things, and like all Nigerians, he would support them in their future endeavors.
Likewise, Mr. Amaju Melvin Pinnick, the president of the Nigerian Football Federation and a member of the FIFA Council, praised the nine-time African champions for their heroic performance on Monday night in spite of several disadvantages and challenges. The President was confident that the female team would achieve great things, and like all Nigerians, he would support them in their future endeavors.