Defending champions Nigeria recorded their first win of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations with a 2-0 victory over Botswana in Rabat on Thursday after having lost their opening game to South Africa.
Ifeoma Onunmou tucked away the ball in the first half and substitute Christy Ucheibe added a second goal with a powerful header from a corner, just minutes after coming on at the start of the second half.
Nigeria are now on three points from two games and expected to secure their quarterfinal place on Sunday when they finish their Group C campaign against rookies Burundi.
Falcons head coach Randy Waldrum made some changes with Chiamaka Nnadozie, Francisca Orgeda, Ngozi Okobi and Toni Payne all starting.
The Falcons bossed the early exchanges but could not break down the resilient Botswana backline.
But their persistence eventually paid off in the 21st minute through Onumonu, who ran on to a superb pass from Halimotu Ayinde before poking ball past the on rushing Botswana keeper.
Botswana went close in the 32nd minute from a free-kick but Nnadozie produced a fine save to deny them.
Two minutes later the Falcons had a shout for a penalty for a foul on Ordega but the referee waved it away.
Before the start of the second half the Falcons made their first change with Christy Ucheibe replacing Rita Chikwelu.
And it proved to be the perfect introduction as Ucheibe rose highest to head home from a corner by Payne to make it 2-0 in the 48th minute.
Ucheibe went close again on 52nd minute to extend the Falcons lead after controlling the ball from a set play but hit her effort just over the bar.
Onumonu could have grabbed her second goal after she was played in by Monday but her effort was well saved the keeper.
With 12 minutes left Ayinde attempted an effort outside the box but saw her effort palmed away for a corner.
In the 85th minute the Falcons were awarded a free-kick in a good area but Ucheibe’s curler was saved by the keeper.
Earlier on Thursday, South Africa won their Group C game 3-1 over Burundi to keep up their 100 per cent start to the tournament in Morocco.