In their inaugural match at the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations on Monday, Nigeria’s Super Falcons were defeated 1-2 by their regular rivals, South Africa.
Two swift goals determined the outcome of the so-called “final before the final” when the drawings were held.
Jermaine Seoposenwe, who had not played for Banyana Banyana since 2019, broke the deadlock in the 61st minute, and Hildah Tholakele Magaia increased the lead with an unstoppable shot just two minutes later.
In extra time, Rasheedat Ajibdate scored a long goal for the consolation.
The victory demonstrated South Africa’s dominance against Nigeria over the past few years.
Prior to Monday’s match, the Super Falcons had not defeated or scored against South Africa in the continental tournament since 2016, when Desire Oparanozie’s goal separated the teams in the semi-final.
Even though veteran captain Onome Ebi and Ashleigh Plumptre performed admirably in the evening, it was unable to prevent Desiree Ellis’s squad from claiming the first three available points in Group C.
Oshoala, who was driving Nigeria’s attack, was unusually quiet up front and was replaced in the 82nd minute by Fransisca Ordega.
The Barcelona forward and his striking partner, Ifeoma Onumonu, may need to improve their communication before Thursday’s game against Botswana, as their partnership did not produce the desired outcome.