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Player Ratings: Onumonu and Ajibade shine as Nigeria beat Cameroon to seal World Cup spot

Player Ratings: Onumonu and Ajibade shine as Nigeria beat Cameroon to seal World Cup spot

The Super Falcons went into the match as slight favourites but knew the Cameroonians would not be an easy task. The nine-time champions started the game on the front foot, dominating possession, but had no shots on target in the opening half.

However, their possession paid off eventually following the restart as Rasheedat Ajibade headed home a cross from Ifeoma Onumonu in the 56th minute.

Ajibade’s header turned out to be the only goal Nigeria needed to book their place in the semi-final, where they will face Morocco.

Here’s how the Super Falcons players rated.

The Paris FC goalkeeper did not have much to do but was reliable on the two occasions Cameroon got close to scoring. Nnadozie is still yet to concede a goal in the competition.

The Leicester City Women defender made her return to the team after missing the last two matches.

Playing as an unorthodox left-back again, Plumptre was tidy in possession and contributed going forward. However, she was taken off in the second half after appearing tired.

The team’s captain has received her fair share of criticism, but she is still standing strong. Ebi was good in defence today, commanding her backline well and dealing with the physicality of the Cameroonians.

Ohale provided good support for Ebi at the back. She was fully aware of her surroundings and also kept the Lioness’ attack quiet.

Payne was again good as a full-back, although she could not offer much in the attack due to the way Cameroon set up. Nonetheless, it was a good performance from the Sevilla star.

Okobi was brilliant in the middle of the park for Nigeria. She never ran away from challenges and hardly lost the ball. A commanding performance from the 28-year-old.

Tonight was not Ayinde’s best game, but she still had a decent performance. The 27-year-old offered little in attack and was largely anonymous for most parts of the game. However, she did her defensive duties well.

Ucheibe was great in the midfield. She used the ball well and never lost it. The Benfica midfielder also set up her teammates into promising positions. An all-round performance from the youngster.

Ordega had a good first half, taking on defenders and using her skill effectively well. However, her form dipped in the second half, and she was rightly substituted.

Onumonu has done well for herself in this tournament. She was yet again brilliant on Thursday night, providing the cross for Ajibade’s goal.

Not only that, her hold-up play and intelligence on the ball were a delight to watch.

The Atletico Madrid striker had a quiet first half, failing to cope with the intensity of the match. However, her form picked up in the second half, and she got her reward by scoring the winner.

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