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Nigeria

Onumonu, Ajibade on target as Olympic champions Canada snatch a late draw against Super Falcons

4:41 PM SGT 12/4/22
Nigeria vs Canada.
The African champions recovered from their first defeat to complete their friendly tour with a draw at Starlight Stadium

Nigeria’s Super Falcons produced an improved display to earn a 2-2 draw against Canada in an international friendly at Starlight Stadium on Monday night.

Having been beaten 2-0 by the same side four days ago, the African champions went into the new game with a lot of confidence and they took a deserved lead courtesy of Ifeoma Onumonu in the fifth minute.

The Olympic champions levelled matters with Christine Margaret Sinclair before the Super Falcons regained their lead in the 53rd minute via Rasheedat Ajibade. With Nigeria heading to a historic victory, Canada salvaged a draw after Shelina Zadorsky scored in the 88th minute.

The Super Falcons looked the most settled side in the opening stages and they raced onto an early lead with only five minutes played when Onumonu produced a cheeky backheel off a Toni Payne corner past stranded goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan.

In the 11th minute, Canada almost drew level when Nichelle Prince combined well with Quinn before putting through on goal Jessie Fleming, but her effort was punched out by goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie.

Four minutes later, Nigeria defender Michelle Alozie was forced to put her body on the line to deny Fleming and in the 18th minute, keeper Nnadozie pulled another great save to deny the advancing Sinclair in a one-on-one situation.

In the 28th minute, it was the turn of Nigeria captain Onome Ebi to keep the Super Falcons in the game, after she produced a spectacular dive to divert a powerful left-footed shot from Janine Beckie.

The Super Falcons held on despite a flurry of attacks from Canada to head into the half-time break leading 1-0. On resumption, Canada kept pressing for the leveller and it finally arrived with only four minutes played when poor defending from the Super Falcons allowed Sinclair to chip the ball over Nnadozie.

However, it took the Falcons four minutes to regain their lead when Ajibade scored from close range, and in the 66th minute, the woodwork saved Nigeria after a great effort from Sinclair.

The Super Falcons held on and were looked set to snatch victory, but with two minutes left to the final whistle, their defence cracked yet again to allow Zadorsky to head home a cross from Beckie past Nnadozie, who had an outstanding game.