Nigeria will not contest the final and third place playoff at the Cyprus Women’s Cup after suffering a narrow 1-0 defeat to Belgium, their second of the group stage, at the Neo GSZ Stadium in Larnaca yesterday evening.
The African champions played against a higher-ranked opponent in the FIFA Women’s ranking, with Belgium occupying the 21st position and the Super Falcons 39th.
Goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi returned to the starting XI for the Super Falcons after missing out of their last game due to a suspension.
The Red Flames of Belgium nudged themselves in front after just seven minutes through Elena Dhont following a swift attacking move from the Europeans.
The team struggled to deal with the attacking impetus of their rivals particularly in the first half and was lucky not to concede more goals.
After the restart, Thomas Dennerby threw on fresh legs with the likes of Anam Imo, Alice Ogebe, Ngozi Ebere and Chinaza Uchendu as they sort to turn around the game but unfortunately came up short.
The Super Falcons finished third in Group C, with one win to their name and three points.
They will take on Thailand in a mere classification game tomorrow at the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca, Cyprus.
Starting XI: Oluehi, Ikidi, Ebi, Ohale, Ogbonna, Chikwelu, Ayinde, Ihezuo, Okobi, Oshoala, Ordega.