President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday congratulated the senior women’s national football team, the Super Falcons, for winning the 2019 WAFU Women’s tournament, which ended in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, on Saturday.
Nigeria won the championship by defeating the competition’s hosts, Dame Elephantes, 5-4 on penalties.
Buhari commended the Super Falcons’ “unbeaten record throughout the tournament” and the fighting spirit of the team.
“President Buhari commends the Falcons for their fighting spirit and resplendent skills evidenced in team work, discipline and focus, which enabled them to defeat the Ivorian Dame Elephantes in the final of the championship.
“The President extols all officials and management of the team, led by Thomas Dennerby, for their sacrifice, commitment and diligence in winning the championship.
“As the team prepare for the forthcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, President Buhari urges officials and players (of the the Falcons) to stay focused and unleash the same zeal that won the WAFU Women’s Cup,”a statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, said on Sunday.
Both sides went into a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw in the game played at the Stade Robert Champroux de Macory.
The Falcons had advanced to the final following their triumph over 2018 winners Ghana via penalty kicks on Thursday.
The Ivorians, who were last year’s finalists, had defeated Mali 2-1 in the second semi-final match to secure a back-to-back final spot.
Ange Koko Nguessan’s free-kick broke the deadlock for the hosts but Uchenna Kanu’s equaliser in the closing stages of the game put the Ivoirians’ celebrations on hold.
The stalemate forced both teams into a penalty shoot-out where the Falcons converted all their kicks, while a missed effort denied the hosts glory on home soil.
Aside her team’s success, Kanu ended the competition as the top scorer, after scoring 10 goals in five games for the Falcons.