Nigeria women’s national team eventually secured a clinical 2-0 triumph over Mali in the Aisha Buhari Cup opener in the presence of CAF president Patrice Motsepe and FIFA supremo Gianni Infantino in Lagos on Wednesday.
Frustrated by their winless three-match campaign at the US Summer Series in June, the Super Falcons welcomed the Eagles to Mobolaji Johnson Arena with the aim of returning to winning ways.
Despite boasting numerous scoring chances, the wasteful hosts were unable to get the ball past the Malian defence and the first half ended 0-0 amidst several threats made by Aissata Traore.
At the start of the second half, Randy Waldrum made four changes to his side and 77th minute substitute Gift Monday, who replaced Francisca Ordega handed the host a shock lead through Asisat Oshoala assist in the 82nd minute.
On the brink of full time, Oshoala’s back header fell in the direction of Monday, who eventually lobbed the ball over Karentaq Fatoumata to guarantee the win.
Thanks to Monday’s brace, the African champions have extended their head to head advantage over the Eagles to a sixth consecutive clinical triumph since 2015.
Next up for Waldrum’s ladies is a showdown at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena where they take on Desiree Ellis’ South Africa on September 21.
Two days earlier, Mali, on their own part will also look to avenge their 2021 doubleheader friendly defeats to 2022 TotalEnergies Africa Women’s Cup of Nations hosts, Morocco when they lock horns at the same venue.