The nine-time African champions picked up a less than favourable result in the opening match of this year’s Summer Series – a 4-Nation Tournament also involving hosts USA, Jamaica, and Portugal’s ‘A’ Women Teams
Nigeria’s Super Falcons fell to a slender 1-0 defeat to Jamaica at the BBVA Stadium on Thursday, with Deneisha Blackwood’s strike shortly after the halftime break handing the Concacaf representative all the three points at stake.
Coached by University of Pittsburgh head coach Randy Waldrum, the reigning African champions were looking to continue on a brilliant run that aaw them lift the Turkish Cup in February.
The Falcons started brightly, causing problems for the Jamaicans defence. But it was the opponents who had the first chance at goal through the penalty spot after defender Rita Chikwelu brought down forward Jody Brown in the box with just 25 minutes played.
Nigeria goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, however, came to her side’s rescue by stopping Blackwood’s spot-kick.
Five minutes after the break, substitute Ijeoma Okoronkwo thought she had given the Africans the lead, but her effort was correctly ruled out for offside.
Seconds later, though, it was one-nil to the Jamaicans when Blackwood found space in the Nigerian danger area to smash a left-footed shot into the upper left corner to make amends for her earlier penalty miss.
The Super Falcons, clearly missing the talents of Barcelona star Asisat Oshoala and Dijon forward Desire Oparanozie, did not give up easily, though.
And the Nigerian side was close to finding an equalizer in their 83rd minute, but forward Michelle Alozie’s well-struck drive from outside the box hit the cross only for the ball to bounce down, out, and cleared away.
Next, the African queens will, on Sunday, face Portugal, who lost 1-0 to the United States in the other match played earlier today also at the BBVA Stadium.
Nigeria round off their Summer Series with a clash against the United States at the Q2 Stadium in Austin, Texas.