NAIROBI, Kenya, November 4- The Super Falcons of Nigeria have one foot in the semifinals of the 2010 African Women championships after edging out hosts Banyana Banyana 2-1 in a hard fought Group A match on Thursday.A first half double by Perpetua Nkwocha was enough to give the West Africans victory extending their lead at the top of the group to six points.
It had been billed as the match of the group stages and the locals in Daveyton-50 kilometres off Johannesburg were certainly up for the match. Sinaba Stadium was filled to capacity hour before the 11am kick off.
The Super Falcons started brightly with Ugochi Opranozie testing South African keeper with a left foot shot on four minutes. They went ahead on 22 minutes when Ebre Orji’s well weighted pass put Nkwocha through on goal and she coolly shot past Yolula Tsawe and into the bottom corner.
The goal stunned the 15,000 fans packed in the stadium and Nigeria had chances to go two up on the half hour mark but Helen Onyinyechukwu blazed the ball wildly over the bar when in acres of space in the 18 yard box.
Nkwocha made it 2-0 eight minutes when she powerfully headed home a Ulumna Jerome corner into the top left hand corner.
South Africa however responded in spectacular fashion with Van Wyk crashing home a 25 yard freekick into the top right corner two minutes before halftime.
The second half was a slightly more cagey affair with both teams, canceling each other out but Nigeria had the bets chance of the half only for Francisca Ordega to miss out on a teasing Mbachu cross.
The win means that Nigeria now only needs a draw in their final match against Tanzania while South Africa must beat Mali.
MALI 3 TANZANIA 2
The Twiga Stars of Tanzania are out of the competition after losing 3-2 to the Female Eagles of Mali in an error strewn match at Sinaba stadium on Thursday.
The heavens opened just before the match and continued right through the first half resulting in several blunders from both sides.
Aicha Konate got Mali off to the perfect start when her long range shot bounced over the head of Tanzanian keeper Fatuma Juma and into the net on 25 minutes.
Tanzania were right back in match four minutes later, this time Mali keeper Karentao Fatuonata was at fault letting a Sophia Mwasikili freekick from way out beat her to level the scores.
Mali came back storming and took the lead on 31 minutes with Diarra Fatuonata connecting with a right wing cross. The lead would only last a minute as Fatuma Swalehe capitalised on another piece of poor goalkeeping by Fatuonata who failed to hold onto the ball and the diminutive forward found the back of the net.
Mali took the lead for good on 68 minutes after another goalkeeping howler by Fatuma who somehow dropped a long ball into the area and Diaty Ndiaye took maximum advantage slotting the ball home.
Following their win, Mali now face a must win clash against South Africa on Saturday.