The Super Falcons of Nigeria capped off a disappointing campaign in the inaugural edition of the WAFU Women's Cup by winning bronze having defeated Mali 2-1 in the third place play-off on Saturday.
After a blistering start to their campaign, winning 3 out of 3 matches, the Nigerian women were widely tipped to lift the trophy. Unfortunately, they came across perennial foes Ghana in the semi-finals who overcame the multiple Afcon (women) winners on penalties.
In fact, Ghanaian teams have developed the art of defeating Nigeria in major tournaments any time the two clash. In 2008, Ghana's men defeated Nigeria 2:1 in an African Cup of Nations quarter-finals with 1 man less after a red card. In 2010, Ghana men overcame Nigeria in the semi-finals of the 2010 Afcon 1:0. Nigeria paraded the likes of Kanu, Martins, Yakubu, Mikel and Enyeama but still lost!
In 2014 CHAN men's semi-finals, Ghana overcame Nigeria on penalties also with 10 men following a red card while the 2017 WAFU men's final match ended in a 4:1 humiliation of Nigeria in the hands of, yes you guessed right, Ghana.
Back to this WAFU women's third place play-offs, Fatoumata Diarra handed the Malians the lead with in the ninth minute before Chinaza Uchendu scored a brace in the 15th and 39th minutes to put Nigeria ahead.
Uchendu, who went on to be named woman of the match, was denied her hat-trick after her 89th minute goal was disallowed; 2:1 the match ended.
It will be Ghana and Ivory Coast who will battle it out for the trophy.