The 2016 African Women’s Cup of Nations ends on Saturday with hosts Cameroon taking on Nigeria in the last match of the competition at the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium in Yaounde.
Nigeria, who are chasing their eighth title, will be aiming to confirm their superiority over the Cameroonians. The Super Falcons have stopped the Indomitable Lionesses from lifting the title on two previous occasions.
The Falcons stopped the Lionesses in 2004, when they defeated them 5-0 in the final in South Africa, before handing them a 2-0 defeat in their second meeting in the final in Namibia in 2014.
Saturday’s meeting will be the third between the two countries in the competition. The Falcons have won eight of previous nine meetings while Cameroon have won only one – their 1-0 win over Nigeria in the third-place match of the 2012 edition in Equatorial Guinea.
After the 2-0 loss to Nigeria, the Lionesses extracted their pound of flesh from the Falcons at the 2015 All Africa Games when they defeated them 2-1 in the semi-finals. The Lionesses went on to win silver in the event while the Falcons finished fourth.
The Falcons have won the event in 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010 and 2014. They have never lost a final in the history of the competition.Nigeria lost two editions of the competition to Equatorial Guinea in 2008 and 2012.
The Lionesses have finished second twice in the event– 2004 and 2014 – losing on both occasions to Nigeria. They have finished third also on two occasions – in 2002 and 2012.
Former Falcons midfielder, Maureen Mmadu, said, “The match will be tough because it is always difficult to play host countries in the final of any competition but our team should go out there and play their game.
“I don’t think the match will be about records because both teams want to win but what I know is that Nigeria’s experience will count a lot in the match.”
Nigeria coach Florence Omagbemi said the game would be difficult but interesting.
“This is not the first time we will be meeting Cameroon but we will fight. We are here to defend our trophy. The matches follow each other and are not alike. Mentally, psychologically and physically the team is ready. The players are used to this type of situation and many of the players from the winning team from Namibia are present,” she told Cafonline.
“I won the competition as a captain. Today, I am a coach. This is a challenge that I believe we can meet.
“We have eight victories over Cameroon in nine games. The ninth holds out our arms. What makes us strong is our determination. We are the defending champions and we have the best statistics. Our girls are focused on the goal and cannot be distracted by other concerns.”
Cameroon coach Enow Ngachu said, “Our goal is to win the gold medal. The poster is certainly the same as in Namibia, but the stakes are different. We beat Nigeria at the African Games in 2015 and that was our last meeting. As a coach, I have always been positive.”