Nigeria took a step closer to reach the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations following Wednesday’s 1-0 win against Gambia in the first-leg of the second round qualifiers.
Thomas Dennerby started his strongest team with three foreign-based players leading the Falcons attack.
The team had a few weeks to prepare for what would be Dennerby’s first real test on the continent; although he had led a second string team to the WAFU Women’s Cup of Nations and another against France in a friendly.
The opening minutes of the game was electric as both teams attacked freely, but it was the Falcons who had threatened to break early.
Gambia also had their spell between a flurry of the Super Falcons dominance inside a sparsely filled Independence Stadium in Bakau.
But, it wasn’t until the minute 19 before Nigeria’s dominance would pay off.
Okoronkwo Amarachi struck a long distance shot to beat Aminata Gaye, who was in goal for the Scorpion, and sting the home fans.
Several more chances were created and missed in the first half before the break and the second half was also as entertaining but no more goals were conceded.
It was perhaps not the heavy bashing the 8-time African champions had hoped to record against a lowly rated Gambia side, but the win is an advantage Dennerby will take as the team will return to prepare for the second-leg.
Nigeria will host Gambia in the reverse fixture on June 11 at the Agege Stadium, Lagos.