The former African champions were the better side in the nation’s capital as they strolled to an easy victory over the minnows
Uchenna Kanu and Esther Okoronkwo were at the braces as Nigeria secured a straightforward 5-0 win over Cape Verde in the first leg of their second round of the 2024 Women Africa Cup of Nations qualifier played at the Moshood Abiola Stadium in Abuja, Soccernet.ng reports.
While Nigeria walked over São Tomé e Príncipe in the first round, Cape Verde claimed an impressive 6-3 aggregate win over Liberia to set up the clash with the Falcons.
But they were no match for the nine-time Africa queens in the FCT on Thursday afternoon.
United States-based Uchenna Kanu scored twice, and Gift Monday added another in a frantic first half before Esther Okoronkwo came off the bench to grab a brilliant double.
Kanu drew first blood for the Super Falcons when she found the net with an easy tap from the edge of the box in the seventh minute.
Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie made a stunning save to deny Cape Verde from equalizing shortly after.
It was the wake-up call Nigeria needed as Tenerife forward Monday doubled the lead for the Falcons following a goalmouth scramble in the 25th minute.
Pitts midfielder Deborah Abiodun was running rings around the Cape Verdeans in midfield. Still, it was Atletico Madrid midfielder Rasheedat Ajibade who came close to making it three in the 33rd minute, but her fine effort flew narrowly wide.
Nigeria would not be denied, though, as Kanu scored the third with her second of the match off Toni Payne’s brilliant pass just before halftime.
Esther Okoronkwo replaced club teammate Monday in the 53rd minute, and shortly after the hour mark, the substitute increased Nigeria’s lead to four with a sublime finish off Akudo Ogbonna’s cross.
Eleven minutes later, Esther Okoronkwo grabbed her second of the match as she pounced on Rofiat Imuran’s cross to make it five for the home side.
The game ended 5-0, with Nigeria recording their biggest win in a competitive fixture since beating Equatorial Guinea 6-0 at the CAF Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in 2018.
Cape Verde and Nigeria will meet again for the second leg on December 5 at the Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde in Praia, where Nigeria will look to maintain their advantage.