The highly anticipated 2022/2023 Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) Premiership Super Six got underway with two games at Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta State on Tuesday.
The opening match of Matchday One saw Rivers Angels securing a 2-0 win over FC Robo Queens in a rain-soaked encounter.
The Lagos Landladies started the match on a bright note and ought to have taken the lead twice but couldn’t convert their chances.
Culpable was Folashade Ijamilusi who was through on goal but her one-on-one chance went wide in the first half.
Chiamaka Okwuchukwu broke the deadlock for the Jewel of Rivers in the 36th minute with a strike from the edge of the box.
The Lagos Landladies tried to find the equalizer but to no avail before substitute, Adaobi Okah’s 79th-minute goal sealed the win for Edwin Okon’s side.
Later in the day, Delta Queens also recorded a 3-1 win against Confluence Queens in the evening match to boost their chances of reaching the finals of the Super Six.
Ekpeyong Effiom opened the scoring for the host team in the 19th minute. However, Peter Martha equalized for the Lokoja-based side at the half-hour mark with a well-converted right-footed strike.
Four minutes later, former Royal Queens player, Samuel Vera restored the Asaba-based side lead while Ekpeyong converted her second goal at the death to guarantee their opening win.
Rivers Angels and Delta Queens go top Group A and B respectively ahead of Wednesday’s games after opening wins over Robo Queens and Confluence Queens respectively.
Bayelsa Queens and FC Robo Queens slug it out by 10:00 am on Wednesday morning before the clash involving Confluence Queens and Edo Queens by 4:00 pm.
REACTIONS: WHAT THEY SAID
Rivers Angels coach, Edwin Okon: “The girls were in high spirits. In every competition, the first match matters a lot. Every match to us is the final. We have crossed the first finals today. The playing turf is okay. The field is okay. It’s a mature side. The field doesn’t disturb anything at that level. Every match as I said is a final to us. From the beginning to the end of the match is a final. We take every match very seriously at that level.”
FC Robo Queens coach, Emmanuel Osahon: “It wasn’t a bad match but the weather in this part of Nigeria is not favourable to us that is coming from the other side of the country. In Lagos, we are not used to rain balls. It’s one of those things that you see in Nigerian football.
When we play our next match, we will know how to go about it because we lost so many chances while our opponents made use of their chances.”
Rivers Angels striker Oghenebrume Ikekhua: “We did very well and got the victory. All I want to say is thank you. We are looking forward to winning the title this time around.”
Delta Queen’s coach, Tosan Blankson: “This is the first match of the Super Six. We have to do our best to make sure we collect the three points. Now that we have collected the three points, we now plan for the last match in the group. Every opposition is tough. This is Super Six. Every team that qualified here is good. We are winning the Super Six which is our hope. Football is all about tactics. In the first half, we tried to size them because it was our first match and we don’t want to make muck mistakes so that we don’t concede goals. In the second half, we saw that we now have strengths more than them making us come out with another tactic that paid off later in the game. We are going for a victory in our next game against Edo Queens. We have great support from our home fans. Definitely, we have to pay them back with the trophy. We are not under pressure.”
Confluence Queen’s coach, Ogboda Whyte: “I am disappointed as a coach losing our first match in the Super Six and knowing fully well that if we had won this match, it would have gone a long way in helping us qualify for the final of the Super Six. All hopes are not lost. We still have one match to go. Our next match against Edo Queens is an easy task ahead of us because every team that came for this Super Six is eligible and as good as qualifying for the final and making it to the CAF Champions League to represent Nigeria. I think we have a chance to beat Edo Queens on Wednesday.
“This is just the first match. I know we lost but we can’t be judged with this first match. By Wednesday we are going to give a more better performance than what we did today.”