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Top Five: Nigerian women of 2019

01:36 GMT+3 28/12/2019
Asisat Oshoala Nigeria
Goal ranks Nigeria's top five women footballers over the last 12 months

  • Uchenna Kanu - Southeastern University

    #5 Uchenna Kanu [Southeastern Fire, USA]

    The U-20 Women's World Cup runner-up was at her best in 2019, finishing top scorer with 10 goals as Nigeria won their maiden Wafu Women's Cup title in May.

    The performance earned her a berth at the Women's World Cup in France, where she featured in all four matches as Nigeria reached the knockout stage for the first time in 20 years.

    Upon her return to the US, Kanu scored in the American Women's Championship final as Pensacola defeated Utah Royals Reserves 4-3 after extra-time, and was named the most outstanding player of the season.

    The Southeastern striker went on to become one of the most decorated collegiate performers in NAIA history, having emerged as the all-time career leader with 157 goals and 366 points.

    She was named the NAIA Women's Player of the Year for 2019 after a record-breaking year, and was honoured by the City of Lakeland with November 18 2019 officially declared 'Uchenna Kanu Day'.

  • Emuidzhi Oghiabekhva of Minsk

    #4 Emuidzhi Oghiabekhva [Minsk, Belarus]

    Despite being overlooked by Nigeria's handlers, the robust and gangling striker continued with her fine scoring form in Europe in the colours of Belarus's Minsk.

    She scored 44 goals in 26 outings for her club, including 10 in seven Women's Champions League matches as they reached the Round of 16 before bowing out to Barcelona.

    Her performance helped the Belarusian Women's Premier League giants to a treble this season and qualification for next year's Women's Champions League.
     

  • Francisca Ordega - Nigeria

    #3 Francisca Ordega [Shanghai, China]

    The 2018 African Women's Player of the Year nominee continued from where she left off as she made an instant impact on her debut season in China with Shanghai.

    The 25-year-old scored five goals and contributed six assists to help her side finish fifth in the Chinese Women's Football Championship and the Women's FA Cup final before heading to France with Nigeria.

    At the Women's World Cup in June, Ordega was influential in the Super Falcons' historic passage to the knockout stage for the first time since 1999 on her third appearance on the global stage.

    Upon her return to club, she scored another seven goals as Shanghai ended the season as 2019 Chinese Women's Super League runners-up. She was the second most lethal African in China behind Tabitha Chawinga.

  • Chiamaka Nnadozie - Falconets 2018

    #2 Chiamaka Nnadozie [Rivers Angels, Nigeria]

    Nnadozie seized the chance to shoot into the limelight at the Wafu Women's Cup in Cote d'Ivoire, where her bravery and heroics helped Nigeria claim their first title and she was named as the best goalkeeper of the tournament in May.

    Having deservedly earned her spot, she made her debut at the Fifa Women's World Cup in France this summer and kept a clean sheet in a 2-0 win against South Korea.

    She became the youngest goalkeeper to achieve this feat and played a crucial role in Nigeria's qualification to the knockout stage for the first time in 20 years.

    Nnadozie also continued with her fine form at the African Games in Morocco, where her three final shootout saves helped Nigeria end a 12-year wait for gold in August. 

    She ended her amazing year by providing some crucial saves to ensure Rivers Angels won a sixth Nigeria Women Premier League title.

  • Asisat Oshoala - Barcelona

    #1 Asisat Oshoala [Barcelona, Spain]

    The three-time African Women's Player of the Year was determined to pick up the pieces and get back on her feet after failing to win her fourth such award in January.

    The 25-year-old's initial loan move to Spanish side Barcelona offered a huge chance to raise her stock, and she never disappointed, scoring eight goals in 11 outings.

    She also made history as the first African to play and score in a Women's Champions League final, netting Barcelona's only goal in 4-1 loss to Lyon.

    Upon being rewarded with a new three-year permanent deal at Barcelona in June, the FC Robo product maintained her incredible form as she has already scored eight goals in 12 league outings this season.

    In France, Oshoala's brilliant finishing ensured the African champions only their fourth win in eight World Cup finals appearances and she was influential as Nigeria ended a two-decade wait to reach the knockouts.

    Her fantastic goal against South Korea made the list of 10 best goals of the tournament and also she scored twice in the Tokyo 2020 Caf Olympic Qualifiers with Nigeria.