JOHANNESBURG, November 1 – The Super Falcons of Nigeria thrashed Mali 5-0 in their opening group a match of the 2010 African Women’s Football Championships on Monday.
A hatrick by Perpetua Nkwocha and goals by Stella Mbachu and Francisca Ordega saw the West Africans teach the Malians an abject lesson in football.
“It was the start we wanted and it’s good to see my players scoring goals. Perpetua in particular was excellent showing great leadership and taking her goals so well,” said Coach Eucharia Uche after the match.
Her Malian counterpart Moustapha Traore conceded the victors were simply too strong. “They have the experience and you could see in they way they played today. We will now focus on Tanzania and hopefully we can bounce back from this.”
With South Africa having beaten Tanzania 2-1 in the opening match on Sunday, Nigeria needed to make a statement of their own ahead of their clash against the hosts on Thursday.
They got off to the perfect start on 14 minutes when Nkwocha brilliantly controlled a diagonal pas from Rita Chikwelu on her chest before finishing with a powerful shot for a 1-0 lead.
Before the Malians could regroup, Nkwocha stole in to make it 2-0 a minute later, latching onto a loose ball inside the area, rounded off a defender before blasting high into the net.
The onslaught was relentless with Mbachu hitting the post with a looping header five minutes later.
Nkwocha capped off a brilliant first half display with a third goal three minutes from halftime thumping home brilliant shot to complete her hatrick.
The Falcons were relentless in the second half waving attack after attack and they made it four on 69 minutes with a wonderful goal. Mbachu beat a couple of defenders with a mazy run down the right before beating the keeper with a low finish.
Substitute Ordega then applied the coup de grace seven minutes from time forcing in the rebound after the keeper had parried an Ugochi Oparanozie shot.
Following the result, Nigeria top group A on goal difference ahead of South Africa who also have three points whole Tanzania are third with no point. Mali are bottom after conceding five.