Nigeria’s female national team, Super Falcons head into Saturday’s final of the 11th African Women Cup of Nations with several records intact, and set to extend many of them.
In gunning for a ninth title overall, the Falcons will claim top spot for the third edition on the trot and become the country that has won the continental showpiece most times on foreign soil.
Exactly a week on, the Falcons’ 4-0 victory over Equatorial Guinea last Saturday saw the Nigerians as the only team to have gone past the group stage at every edition since the competition began in 1998.
The victory also saw Nigeria maintain their recording of always making the semi-finals of the continental showpiece, but their win against Cameroon on Tuesday was the only one via penalties.
On the other hand, Cameroon reached the semis at every edition except in 2000 when the competition was held in South Africa, which Nigeria also won by beating the hosts in the final.
Unlike their opponents in Saturday, South Africa which ranked third in the number of semi-final appearances missed the last four in 1998 and 2004, but got their second ever win against Nigeria in their first match.
While Nigeria seek an eight title on foreign soil, Ghana became the third hosts to exit the competition at the group stage after South Africa in 2004 and Namibia in 2014.
South Africa’s 7-1 win over Equatorial Guinea is their biggest victory at the tournament, as they bettered a 5-0 victory over Egypt during the group stage in 2016.
Ironically, the only other country to have won the title, Equatorial Guinea, two-time winners at that, bowed out of the 2018 competition with the worst ever defence, conceding 18 goals in three group games.