By Augustine Akhilomen
The stage is set for Saturday’s epic final of the Africa Women’s Cup of Nations as two teams with rich football rivalry and prestige come at loggerheads in what is expected to be an explosive encounter.
The Super Falcons are the reigning Africa champions and they will be faced with the task of overcoming the host nation, the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon on Saturday for the prestigious trophy at the Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaounde.
Led by head coach, Florence Omagbemi, the team has redeemed itself after failing to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil.
Having won the trophy nine times, the Super Falcons are poise to silence an Indomitable Lionesses side that will be desperate to win it for the first time, coupled with their vociferous home crowd.
Road to final
In the semi final, the team defeated South Africa’s Bayana 1-0 thanks to Desire Oparanozie solitary goal, to take the team the highest scoring team in the competition with 11 goals and conceding one goal in the process.
CAMEROON: The Lionesses got to the final of the tournament beating Egypt 2-0 in the opening encounter, pipping South Africa 1-0 before overcoming Zimbabwe 2-0 in their last group A match, to top with nine points.
However, Cameroon managed a slim 1-0 win over the Black Queens of Ghana thanks to Raissa Feudjio’s 71st minute goal,taking their total goal to seven with none conceded.
Defensively, the Indomitable Lionesses appears to have a solid defence having failed to concede a goal. However, head coach, Ngachu Enow has built a team with pace, energy couple with their physical and aerial presence in opponents’ 18-yard box.
The team’s 4-4-2 formation have seen them outwit their group opponents and the Cameroonians will hoping to apply the same tactics in a bid to outrun the Super Falcons.
Meanwhile, Florence Omagbemi’s team may have shipped in one goal,however, they pose so much threat going forward, a result which have seen them scored 11 goals in the tournament.
Blessed with an array of talents in the team, Omagbemi appears settled with a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 formation depending on their opponent, something which have paved way for a free flow of football and the wing backs overlapping in most occasion.
Asisat Oshoala- Nigeria: The tournament top scorer with six goals have completely taking the competition by storm, scoring four goals in Nigeria’s 6-0 walloping of Mali before scoring against Ghana and Kenya respectively.
The Arsenal Ladies striker’s composure in front of goal and sublime skills makes her one of the most deadliest strikers at the tournament. She will definitely be a major threat to the solid defence of the Cameroonian team on Saturday.
Madeleine Ngono – Cameroon: Despite managing to score only a goal in the competition so far, the En Avant de Guingamp striker, has always been a threat whenever she’s in the 18-yard box.
Strong and energetic on the ball, Ngono’s instinct for goals can’t be ignored even when she’s not scoring as she is also blessed with killer passes that can split opponent’s defence.
What they say
Cameroon midfielder, Augustine Ejangue
“All our players know what they have to do for us to have a great finish. We know what we have to do for Cameroon to be the winner of this match.
“This is the kind of game that is won or lost on details. That’s why we did six months of preparation. I thank God for allowing this CAN to be organized in Cameroon.”
Nigeria’s head coach, Florence Omagbemi
“Winning the trophy remains the major objective of the team at the tournament. Like I said after we defeated Mali 6-0 that we want to take each game as they come and I am delighted we are where we want to be at this stage of the competition.
“Yes,the Indomitable Lionesses have done enough to be in the final, however, we are simply relaxed regardless of the fact that they are the host nation.
“I quite agree that the fans are their twelfth player, but then,we have mapped out plans on how we will silent the home crowd and eventually win the trophy on Saturday.”