Delta Queens advance to finals of CAF Women Champions League Playoff
Posted : 29 August 2023
Nigeria champions Delta Queens has qualified for the final of the WAFU B CAF Champions League Playoff after defeating Ivorian champions Athletico FC 3-2 on Monday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin city.
The Nigerians came from a goal down to seal a semi-final victory and book a place in the final through a brace from Mercy Omokwo and an extra-time winner from Taiwo Afolabi.
Athletico forward Melissa Behinan fired home from distance in the 5th minute of the match to give the visitors a surprise lead.
The Ivorian champions pushed for a second goal in the 25th minute with a dangerous corner kick which was cleared by the Nigerian ladies.
The undefeated Nigerian champions headed into the tunnel at halftime trailing by 1-0.
Delta Queens began the second half with two quick substitutes as Temitope Owoeye and Folajomi Olabiyi gave way for Mercy Omokwo and Nmesoma Ibeh whose introductions improved the attack of the hosts as they pushed for an equalizer.
Their persistent pressure finally paid off following substitute Mercy Omokwo’s screamer from distance to level matters for the Nigerians in the 63rd minute to even the scoreline 1-1.
The home team had another opportunity in the 82nd minute after Chinaza Agoh set up Mercy Omokwo for the possible winner inside the area but an Ivorian defender intercepted the dangerous pass.
The match ended 1-1 at the end of 90 minutes and headed into extra-time.
Mercy Omokwo completed the comeback to make it 2-1 in 98th minute with a superb close range finish before the Nigerian Women’s Football League champions wrapped up the win in 106th minutes to make it 3-1 through Taiwo Afolabi.
Athletico Captain, Joy Sunday pulled one back for the Ivorian team in 114 minutes of play to reduce the deficit to 3-2.
Omokwo’s cross into the path of Chinaza Agoh, whose eventual tap in from close range was ruled out for a hand ball in the 119th minute as the game finished 3-2 in favour of Delta Queens who now secure passage to the final.
The team that emerges winner of the tournament will represent the region in the Champions League Proper in Ivory Coast later this year.