Without Oshoala, Nigeria’s WAFCON Aspiration rests on Ifeoma Onumonu

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Ifeoma Onumonu scored her first goal of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations to send Nigeria on the way to a 2-0 win win against Botswana.

For her goal the Forward put on show a fine technique, switching feet as she made contact with a through pass inside the box to finish with aplomb.

 

It was a massive statement from the 28 year-old who led Nigeria’s attack line in the absence of the injured Asisat Oshoala.

 

Oshoala herself will no longer play in the tournament following the devastating news of a knee injury she suffered in Nigeria’s first game against South Africa.

 

The partnership of the duo against Banyana Banyana did not yield much and if anything, it made raised more scrutiny of the WAFCON vet and her understudy – both were kept quiet by the SA defence.

 

However, thrown into the fray as the CF, Onumonu showed potential, but also major a weakness in her game.

 

The 5ft 10in Forward had presence inside the box, could use her frame and strength in 1v1 situations against Defenders and on the ball.

 

She has also shown the ability to anticipate an attacking move or initiate one by herself.

 

Definitely strong with the left foot and has the stamina to match a physical game, yet her decision making remains the biggest ask.

 

The player, has the IQ and can read the game and be in positions where she can take advantage of defenders, but as seen against Botswana she is indecisive in taking first time opportunities.

 

On Thursday, she could have added a couple more goals to her tally, with clear cut chances created, but she didn’t capitalize on them.

 

A four-year veteran in the NWSL, where she currently plays for Gotham FC, her goals return aren’t spectacular.

 

From a total of 83 league appearances, the Center forward has managed only a meager 15 goals.

 

 

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In contrast, in her seven appearances for Nigeria she has bagged two goals – and once as the spearhead in a competitive game.

 

Nonetheless, it begs the question if Nigeria, moving forward, can rely on Ifeoma Onumonu to score important goals that will propel the Super Falcons to the semi-final and even actualize the objective of a 10th Championship.

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