Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress
Canada had to come from behind twice to hold Nigeria to a draw in the second of two celebration friendly games in Langford in the early hours of Tuesday.
The Canadians are using the exhibition games against the African champions to celebrate their Tokyo Olympics women’s football gold medal in front of their adoring fans.
Having won the first friendly 2-0 four days ago in Vancouver, Canada were stunned early by the Super Falcons in Langford as Ifeoma Onumonu struck.
The United States of America-based striker scored in the fifth minute with a clever backheel after the Canadians failed to clear the ball in their box.
The Super Falcons then faced a spell of pressure as the Olympic champions hunted for the equaliser, with captain Onome Ebi in the heart of defence and goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie leading the resistance with brave clearances and brilliant saves.
The resilient nine-time African champions took their lead into half-time as they stood up impressively to one of the best women’s football teams in the world.
However, the relentless pressure from Canada was eventually rewarded when Christine Sinclair took advantage of some lax defending to score the equaliser four minutes after the restart.
The otherwise impressive Ebi was caught in possession high up the field and the ball was fed to Sinclair who lobbed it over Nnadozie, who was well off her line.
The Super Falcons were undaunted and they restored their lead soon after. Atletico Madrid forward Rasheedat Ajibade fired Nigeria back in front in the 53rd minute as Randy Waldrum’s side eyed a massive upset.
The Nigerian ladies held on to their lead up until three minutes to the end of regulation time when Shelina Zadorsky struck to earn Canada a draw.
The result is an encouraging one for the Super Falcons ahead of the defence of their Women’s Africa Cup of Nations title in Morocco in July.