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Nigeria Women 2 Mali Women 1: Uchendu’s brace hands Super Falcons bronze medal

22:05 GMT 24/02/2018
Nigeria women
The forward’s first-half strikes were all Thomas Dennerby’s ladies needed to hand the African champions victory over the Female Eagles

Nigeria signed off the maiden edition of the Wafu Women’s Cup of Nations with a 2-1 victory over Mali.

The Super Falcons entered Saturday’s hoping to restore some pride following a 5-4 defeat on penalties against Ghana. And they got what they wanted as a first-half double from Chinaza Uchendu ensured Thomas Dennerby’s side took the honour of finishing third.

Not even the presence of talisman Tangara Hawa and Traore Aissata could rally Mali from losing for the second time to the reigning African champions at the Robert Champroux Stadium.

By contrast, Nigeria were excellent though were punished for a careless defending in the ninth minute after Diarra Fatouma fired in a screamer past goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie.

Undeterred by the early setback, Uchendu restored parity for the Super Falcons with her 15th-minute goal after firing past Karantao Fatoumata.

Things quickly went from bad to worse for Mali as the forward completed her brace in the 39th minute with the simplest of finishes.

To their credit, the Female Eagles continued to battle after the interval with Traore Maimouna and Hawa threatening for an equaliser, but the Nigerian ladies were resolute in their defending.

At the end, it was the Falcons who had the last laugh – emerging as the third best team of the championship.