By Godwin Aikigbe
Nigeria striker, Asisat Oshoala is not carried away by her hat-trick, which fetched her Total Woman of the Match award in their 6-0 whitewash of Equatorial Guinea on Saturday.
The China-based reigning African Woman Player of the Year was without a goal in their first opening Group matches against South Africa and Zambia, which saw her receiving thumbs down from pundits.
Speaking at the post-match conference in Accra, Ghana, the former FC Robo striker placed the team’s success over personal accomplishment, as the defending champions head into Tuesday semi-finals clash with rival Cameroon in a repeat of the 2016 final in Accra whilst South Africa battles Mali in Cape Coast, both on Tuesday.
Fransisca Ordega opened the scoring for Nigeria in the eight minute before the Oshoala show started. The forward scored in the 12th, 21st and 32nd minutes to end the first half 4-0 for the holders.
Back from recess and Nigeria will continue from where they left off and it took them just three minutes to score their fifth, this time Desire Oparanozie getting on the score sheet.
Rita Chikwelu put the final nail in the coffin of Equatorial Guinea with the sixth goal in the 63rd minute.
South Africa who beat Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea in their first two Group B games, needed just a draw to progress and they did just that against neighbours Zambia, with both teams settling for a 1-1 draw in the Group B ultimate clash at the Accra sports stadium.
Tournament sensation Chrestinah Thembi Kgatlana broke the deadlock for South Africa in the seventh minute with a thunderbolt that caught the Zambia goalie off guard. But the lead lasted only two minutes as the Zambians clawed their way back into the game with the equalizer through Rachael Kundananji.
Both coaches made some changes to their respective teams in their quest to alter the the score line especially Zambia who had the better of the exchanges in the second half, but all to no avail as the game ended 1-1.
Banyana Banyana topped the group with seven points with the Super Falcons trailing on six points. Zambia amassed four points and Equatorial Guinea in that order pointless.