FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, and that of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) Patrice Motsepe, were present at the remodelled Mobolaji Johnson Arena formerly Onikan Stadium-in Lagos on Wednesday, when Nigeria’s Super Falcons beat Mali 2-0 in the opening match of the Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Soccer Tournament.
The Randy Waldrum girls ensured that the country’s unbeaten run against the Flying Eagles of Mali was maintained with the victory.
The Falcons had a shaky start to Aisha Buhari Cup: Infantino, Motsepe watch Falcons beat Mali 2-0 Osimhen, Iheanacho clash at Europa League the game, with the Malians overrunning them from the midfield to the attack.
The Malian attackers made it a difficult start for the Falcons’ defence led by the experienced Onome Ebi. Upfront, the opposition also curtailed the effectiveness of Asisat Oshoala, Francisca Ordega and Desire Oparanozie.
However, the proceeding changed in the second half with the introduction of Monday Gift and Uchenna Kanu.
The substitutes injected their freshness and exuberance in the final third, and Nigeria began creating a flurry of chances.
Oshoala missed two perfect chances in quick succession as she failed to direct a grounder from Ordega towards the goal from just six yards. Minutes later, she opted to round up the Malian goalkeeper instead of shooting in a one-view-one situation, allowing the goalie to scoop the ball easily.
However, in the 82nd minute, the Falcons finally broke the deadlock through a Monday glancing header off Oshoala’s cross.
The Robo Queens’ striker then added the second in injury time, skillfully lobbing the onrushing goalkeeper after Oshoala set her through with a looping header.
Meanwhile, the match was also graced by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu; Minister of Youth and Sports, Chief Sunday Dare and the President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Amaju Pinnick, among others.
The Falcons will be back in action on Tuesday, September 21, when they face South Africa at the same venue.