Nigeria 4-0 Zambia: Super Falcons spank Shepolopolo
Nigeria women
Backpagepix
Having lost their opening game to Banyana Banyana, the defending champions shot themselves back in contention with a big win over Bruce Mwape's ladies

Nigeria women revived their quest to defend their title with a 4-0 massacre of group leaders Zambia in their second encounter in the ongoing Africa Cup of Nations on Wednesday.

Having bowed to a 1-0 defeat against South Africa three days ago, the reigning champions were condemned to redeem their image, upstaging the high-flying Shepolopolo, who crushed two-winners Equatorial Guinea in their opening game.

The eight-time winners failed to inspire at the start, with reigning African Women Player of the Year, Asisat Oshoala missing a number of scoring chances, first in the ninth minute.

In the closing stages of the first half, Oparanozie, who scored twice in the two first meeting at the Namibia 2014, broke the deadlock after she latched home a pass from Francisca Ordega in the 41st minute.

In the second half, Oshoala failed to find her scoring boot as goalkeeper Hazel Nali remained impressive form to thwart her efforts.

The introduction of defender Josephine Chukwunonye as a replacement for injured Faith Micheal sparked to life the fast diminishing display of the Falcons.

In the 69th minute, Ordega doubled Nigeria's lead before substitute Rasheedat Ajibade, who replaced Guingamp forward scored her Awcon debut goal and the third of the evening for Nigeria six minutes later.

Article continues below

Amarachi Okoronkwo came in for Halimatu Ayinde in the 81st minute and wasted no time to announce herself when she fired in the fourth deep inside the injury time to complete the massacre.

The victory was the second in Awcon history between both teams and restored Thomas Dennerby's ladies qualification dreams for next year's Women's  World Cup in France while it put Zambia on their brink of an early exit.

Nigeria will be looking to build on their big win when they face Equatorial Guinea in their final group clash, while Zambia battle regional rivals South Africa in the quest secure a spot in the last four on Saturday.