By Victor Kanayo
Nigeria’s Super Falcons on Thursday morning lost to Japan 0-2 in Kobe in an international friendly match played at the Noevir Stadium.
The encounter was a third straight friendly defeat to the Japanese side who were 2011 World Champions.
The Asian powerhouse showed their superiority in the second half after some spirited display by the Nigerians in the first half which ended goalless.
Captained by Atletico Madrid’s Rasheedat Ajibade, the Super Falcons had very few chances, but Leicester City fullback Ashley Plumptre could have given Nigeria the lead, but her fantastic free-kick came back off the post.
The Nigerian team coached by Randy Waldrum had the brilliance of goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie to thank for keeping the team levelled at the break.
But Mina Tanaka broke Nigeria’s resistance midway through the second half.
Tanaka added the second from the penalty spot shortly after to condemn Nigeria to their fifth consecutive defeats from abysmal Women African Cup of Nations (WAFCON).
From when Nigeria lost to Morocco and Zambia at the WAFCON, its women senior national team have also lost two times to the United States of America (USA) before Japan friendly crash.
The Falcons had lost two back-to-back friendly matches against the Nadeshiko in 2013 before Thursday’s meeting.
Both their games against USA and Japan were in preparation for 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.