The Super Falcons of Nigeria defeated Equatoria Guinea 4-2 in the final of the 7th Africa women championship, South Africa 2010 to reclaim the African crown they lost two years ago.
Nigeria was faster off the blocks and in the 7thminute, Perpetua Nkwocha opened scores with a sublime finish after receiving a defence splitting pass from Jerome Ulunma. It was her 11th goal of the competition.
What might turned out the miss of the tournament was recorded by Oparanozie Desire in the 17th minute, side stepping wide in front of goal with only the goal keeper to beat. Equatoria Guinea had obviously got their tactics wrong as their offside trap strategy had been decoded by the Nigerians.
The defending champions made some moves of their own and were only unlucky not to have equalized in the 23rd minute as Simpore Salimata had her close range shot deflected to corner with the goal keeper at her mercy.
Equatoria Guinea did not make the kind of start that they would have expected and it was no surprise that the first substitution was made in the 27th minute as Jade Sayo, the destroyer of South Africa in the semi-final came in for Obono Natalia.
Equatoria Guinea had a goal disallowed in the 29th minute for pushing during a goal mouth melee and that seemed to have spurned them into action with the game now balanced and either side threatening to score intermittently.
Okoro Chinasa of Equatoria Guinea was left to rue her luck in the 42nd minute as her glancing header from an outside the box free-kick missed goal by whiskers.
The referee ended the game for half time recess in what was one of the most thrilling 45 minutes witnessed in this competition.
Equatorial Guinea started the 2nd half like a house on fire and five minutes into the game it was still all about Equatorial Guinea.
The Nigerian bench sensing danger took off Ebere Orji who has had a disappointing tournament by her standards and brought on Esther Sunday in the 51st minute.
In the 56th minute, danger woman Simpore Salimata waxed through the Nigerian defence before releasing a rocket which flew across goal in a flash. Nigeria leaving dangerously.
Desire Oparanozie brought life back into the Nigerian attack with a ferocious shot that brought out the best in the Equatoria Guinea goal keeper but the striker headed wide from the resultant corner kick. She should have done better actually.
The equalizer finally came in the 62nd minute and the Nigeria goal keeper failed to communicate with her defender and both were caught napping off a corner kick that was headed home by Carolina Pereira.
The Nigerians now seem to have woken from their slumber and the pressure was now on the opposite direction.
Nigeria made it 2-1 in the 76th minute and this time, Desire Oparanozie made up for the earlier misses with a perfect header from a corner kick taken by Ukaonu Helen.
Equatorial Guinea should have equalized in the 78th minute after the Nigeria defence was caught sleeping but Salimata Simpore blasted wide in front of a yawning net.
Nigeria took advantage through a counter attack on the right wing in the 79th minute by Esther Sunday but her header was sent into the net by an Equatoria Guinea defender under pressure. Nke Ghislaine had headed the ball into her own net; it is now 3-1 advantage Nigeria.
The script could not just be written yet as Equatorial Guinea stormed back through substitute Jade Sayo in the 81st minute and once again, the Nigeria defence was nowhere to be found as Jade Sayo was left all alone in the box to connect home from a free kick.
Nigeria then sealed victory from another own goal but this time, it was turned in by Carolina Pereira in the 82nd minute. Once again, the effort came from the right wing and Stella Mbachu, who had been rather quiet all day, busted loose and her pull out into the box was turned in by Equatoria Guinea under pressure.
Final scores ended 4-2 advantage Nigeria but both teams will represent Africa at the FIFA women world cup, Germany 2011.
Nigeria won the fair play award, highest goal scorer award with Perpetua Nkwocha scoring 11 goals while Stella Mbachu was given the most valuable player of the tournament award.