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Sports News of Tuesday, 3 November 1998

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Super Falcons beat Black Queens of Ghana 2-0

LAGOS (Nigeria) 1 Nov. '98 Nigeria won the maiden African Women's Championship by beating Ghana 2-0 in Saturday's finals played at the Gateway stadium in Abeokuta, Nigeria. The goals were scored in each half of the well-contested encounter, with Nkiru Okosieme scoring in the 43rd minute and Stella Mbachu completing the tally in the 64th minute. In spite of the result, the Black Queens qualified along with the Falcons to represent Africa at the women's world cup in the US in 1999. The match was the toughest for the Nigerians, who had virtually rolled over their opponents by amassing 26 goals in the four matches leading to the final. As the Falcons undertook a victory lap around the Abeokuta Gateway Stadium carrying a banner with the inscription "Victorious Falcons of Nigeria", the Ghanaians held their heads high as they walked to the dais to receive their silver trophy. On Friday, the Democratic Republic of Congo beat Cameroon 6-4 on penelties to win the bronze. South Africa, Egypt and Morocco also featured in the competition, played in two centres - Kaduna, northern Nigeria, and Abeokuta. It has been a shower of cash rewards for the Nigerian girls, who have represented Africa in the two previous world cup championships in China '91 and Sweden '95. The players are each to get 100,000 naira as winning bonus for Saturday's match, while the Ogun state military administrator, Col. Theophilus Bamigboye gave the team 250,000 naira (86 naira = 1 US dollar). The chairman of the Nigerian Football Association, Abdulmumuni Aminu, also announced a personal donation of 100,000 naira.