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Cyprus Women's Cup

Nigeria's Dennerby slams 'strange' officiating in Slovakia win

04:03 SAST 2019/03/03
Thomas Dennerby - Nigeria
Although the Super Falcons needed a late goal to claim their first win, the gaffer feels the Slovaks clawed back through dubious penalties

Thomas Dennerby felt the officials during Nigeria's 4-3 Cyprus Cup win over Slovakia tried to help the Europeans back into the encounter with three penalties in the second half.

The Africans cruised into the 3-0 lead at the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium, but Peter Kopun's side almost snatched a point after Jana Vojtekova spearheaded the comeback in the 67th minute.

The Slovak equalised within 10 minutes after they were awarded three penalties with Lucia Harsanyova converting two before missing the third at the death after Anam Imo late winner.

And the Swede refuses to blame the squandering of a three-goal advantage on his side’s poor defending as he feels some bad decisions from the match officials almost cost them.

"In the second half, we conceded three penalties within 45 minutes which came in the last 25 minutes," Dennerby told Goal.

"It was extremely strange! In my opinion, I feel that's some bad decisions from the referee. I hope to see them again on video but from my position on the bench, I was absolutely not wrong because Josephine [Chukwunonye] jumped and headed the ball away but they called for a penalty.

"Probably an offside, I think because Chiamaka [Nnadozie] came out and she looked to be the first to reach the ball, but another penalty was awarded. The first half, we had it under full control scoring three goals and almost did early in the second half.

“We could have scored when Asisat [Oshoala] played into space and she was held down in the area for a penalty but Rita [Chikwelu] missed the chance to score our fourth.

"After that, a beautiful freekick that meets the bar which Jana [Vojtekova] scored from before all the dramas happened, with three penalties been given to them.

“We had a shot from open play and it fell to the path of Anam [Imo], who scored the fourth goal. We had several chances and we could have scored up to 10 goals."

With the narrow win, Nigeria are still third in Group C with three points from two games and will hope for a win in their final group game against Belgium to reach the next phase.