The reigning African champions bow to the superior firepower of the Olympic gold medallist in Vancouver early on Saturday morning
Super Falcons were brilliant in patches but subsequently fell to a 2-0 friendly defeat to the Canadian women’s soccer team at the B.C Place on Saturday.
An eventful encounter ended with a win for the North Americans, who celebrated the Olympic gold they won months ago in style.
But the tie ended in disappointment for the Nigerians, who lost only for the second time against the Canadians. And even more worrying for coach Randy Waldrum and his technical staff was injuries to goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, veteran Onome Ebi, and Grace Kanu.
Nnadozie stole the show in the match’s opening moments, pulling up save after save to keep the rampant home side from breaching her net.
And it was largely thanks to the brilliance of the Paris FC goalie and her defenders that the Super Falcons headed into the first-half break on levelled terms.
Rasheedat Ajibade could have even given the Africans the lead in the 28th minute when she broke through the Canadian defence and sent a rocket flying from the top of the box.
But goalkeeper Stephanie Labbe dove to make a fingertip save and keep the score at 0-0.
The hosts finally made their superiority count in the second half through Jessie Flemming’s opener in the 51st minute and Vanessa Gilles’ header in the 72nd.
The stoppages did not take away the celebratory atmosphere of the B.C Place as the cheering crowd honoured the Olympic champions.
The Canadians, currently ranked sixth in the world, and 39th-ranked Nigeria face each other again on Tuesday for the second leg of the friendly series.