The Flamingos of Nigeria kept their chances of world cup qualification afloat with a slim yet sumptuous 1:0 away victory against a determined Ethiopia on Friday afternoon.
Though Bankole’s babes took the lead in 36 minutes through femme fatale Ajakaye, they actually had goalkeeper Omilana to thank for helping to keep the Ethiopians at bay.
As early as the 18th minute, the expandable net minder pulled off a magnificent save from Kebede's goal bound drive. Then it was the turn of Garma to try her luck in 48 minutes in which the impregnable Omilana stood her ground.
Though she was booked for time-wasting in 76 minutes, Omilana did enough to help her team stay in the tie.
In addition to the goal scorer, all the other players pulled their weight to stay focused and resolute in getting their goal to stay on course for world cup qualification.
Despite all their goals scoring opportunities, Ethiopia made them sweat for this victory. It is important to point out that this is the least number of goals scored by the Flamingos in the first leg of all their qualifiers to date.
Against Egypt in the last round they scored 4 first leg goals and against Congo they scored 3. Now they scored only 1 which is an indicator of the sort of competition they should expect to come against at the World Cup in India (hoping they qualify).
So, much work needs to be done. But in the meantime, today's victory remains most gratifying.