Nigeria will face either arch rivals South Africa or Tanzania for a place in the women’s football event of the 2024 Olympic Games, after scaling the hurdle of West African rivals Cameroon in the penultimate round of the qualifiers on Monday in Abuja.

Thanks to Esther Okoronkwo’s 15th-minute goal at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium, Abuja, the Super Falcons reached the final round of the African qualifying series with an aggregate 1-0 win over the Lionesses, who forced them to a goalless draw in the first leg last Friday on Douala.

Okoronkwo latched onto a ball which came back to her after goalkeeper Michaely Bihina had parried Rasheedat Ajibade’s chip.

After taking the lead, goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie did her bit to protect Nigeria’s advantage, as she stopped the Lionesse, who came close in the 32nd minute from a corner kick when Menene Meyong got her head to the ball.

In the second period, Bihina kept out all efforts by Ajibade, Echegini and substitutes Akudo Ogbonna as well as Asisat Oshoala.

Nnadozie was again called into action on the hour mark to deny Cameroon when Marie Ngah Manga got her head to a cross by the energetic substitute Marie Enganemben.

The Lionesses finished with 10 women when the volatile Enganemben was sent off over a push on Nnadozie during a bizarre rush by Cameroonian players to get the equaliser.

Randy Waldrum’s ladies now await the winners of the game between South Africa and Tanzania, which will be played on Tuesday (today) with the reigning African champions holding a 3-0 advantage from the first leg in Dar es Salaam.

The Falcons haven’t qualified for the Olympics since Beijing 2008 and the final clash to redeem that comes up in