Nigeria’s Super Falcons kicked off their Cyprus cup,Women tournament with a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Austria at the AEK Arena in Larnaca on Wednesday.
Falcons manager Thomas Dennerby would surely be using the competition to prepare his team for the upcoming World Cup which comes up in France later this year.
Goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi was issued her matching orders barely five minutes in after her badly exposed backline sold her short, resulting in the 31-year-old bringing down an Austrian player just outside the box.
From there on, Nigeria sat ducks for most part of it and struggled to deal with the pace and swift exchanges of the Austrians.
Austria could have scored in the 37th minute when Nici Billa set up Nina Burger but her header was plucked out in the air by substitute Nigeria goaltender, Christy Ohiaeriaku.
But the striker will not be denied three minutes after the restart when she diverted home from a corner situation to put the European nation ahead.
And one soon became two as Nicole Billa added another a minute shy of the hour mark when she powered home a spectacular shot.
Asisat Oshoala pulled one back for Nigeria in the 65th minute, finishing well after getting in behind the opposition defence courtesy of a pass from Anam Imo.
Laura Feiersinger, however made sure of the win for Austria when she converted a rebound following a blocked shot from Elizabeth Mayr.
And there was still time for 20-year-old Jennifer Klein to score her first international goal when she picked a pass off the impressive Mayr to leave the African Champions kicking away in frustration.
Next up for Dennerby’s ladies is a clash with Slovakia on March 1st before meeting with Belgium three days later.
Starting XI: Oluehi, Ikidi, Ebi, Ohale, Imo, Chikwelu, Nku, Ihezuo, Ayinde, Uchendu, Oshoala.