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Nigeria Football Federation president Amaju Melvin Pinnick has praised the Super Falcons for their bravery in the Women Africa Cup of Nations semi-final loss to Morocco on Monday night.

Atlas Lionesses of Morocco had a massive advantage to win the game in either regulation time or extra time after the the Super Falcons of Nigeria were reduced to nine players owing to red cards shown to Halimat Ayinde and Rasheedat Ajibade.

However, the Falcons battled to a 1-1 draw after extra time, but the North Africans advanced after a 5-4 win in the resultant penalty shootout.

According to the Pinnick, the players should be commended for their display despite the numerical disadvantage.

He told All Nigeria Soccer:

Of course, we would have been happy to be in the final and chase a 10th title.

But I am happy with the performance of the team and the way and manner they approached the game despite all sorts of setbacks and intimidation.

To play 50 minutes of a game with only nine players is not an easy task. The Super Falcons gave their all and were truly fabulous.

They had the ‘Nigeria spirit’ in them and showed a sense of patriotism, were dogged and refused to give up. Penalties are forever a lottery, so it could have gone either way. I commend the team for the outing.”

Our girls did a massive job on a night they were not only depleted but challenged by laser lights trained on their eyes by the crowd.

I am enamored by their resilience and tenacity. The next step now is for the Federation to do everything possible to prepare the team adequately for the FIFA World Cup finals coming up next year.

Nigeria will now play Zambia in the third-place playoff as Morocco and South Africa battle for the title.

By Amara

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