The Super Falcons of Nigeria defeated Cameroon 1-0 in the quarterfinals on Thursday in Casablanca to advance to the FIFA women’s World Cup for next year.
Rasheedat Ajibade was the Falcons’ hero, since her goal in the second half was sufficient to advance the defending champions to their seventh World Cup.
On Monday, they will play the tournament’s hosts, Morocco, in the semifinal.
Additionally, they have joined Zambia and Morocco as the groups that have already qualified automatically for the FIFA Women’s World Cup in 2019.
In the first Falcons opportunity after seven minutes, Ifeoma Onumonu failed to aim Ngozi Okobi’s swung in set-piece toward goal.
Okobi’s threatening corner in the 23rd minute caused some confusion in the Cameroonian box, but the goalkeeper eventually emerged to claim the ball.
Halimotu Ayinde attempted a long-range shot with five minutes remaining, but it missed its mark as the Falcons continued to create opportunities.
Rasheedat Ajibade attempted a long-range shot three minutes into the second half, but the Cameroon goalkeeper was unconcerned and watched the chance go out for a goal kick.
Ayinde fouled out in the 52nd minute, giving Cameroon a good chance at a free kick that the Falcons converted.
On the 56th minute, Ajibade headed home Onumonu’s excellent ball to give the game its first goal.
On minute 68, Gabrielle Onguene, the captain of Cameroon, nearly scored, but her attempt from the penalty area missed the target by a whisker.
Onumonu could have added a second after being sent through on goal on minute 84, but she volleyed over the crossbar.