Nigeria Super Falcons began their Cyprus invitational tournament on a losing note following a 4-1 loss to Austria on Wednesday at the AEK Arena.
The nine-time Africa champions who are debuting in the tournament following their victory at the last Africa Women’s Nations Cup in Ghana last year were trounced by their European opponents.
The Super Falcons were reduced to ten players just seven minutes in the game following the sending off of goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi.
Falcons coach, Thomas Dennerby immediately brought out Cecilia Nku for another goalkeeper, Christy Ohiaeriaku as they were able to contain Austria to goalless in the first half.
Three minutes of the second half, Austria took advantage of their numbers as Tor Nina Burger broke the deadlock.
Austria doubled their lead in the 59th minute through Nicole Billa doubles the Europeans lead at AEK Arena.
Falcons got a sigh of relief when Barcelona Femeni striker and three-time Africa Women Player of the Year, Asisat Oshoala pulled one back in the 65th minute after gaining a pass from Anam Imo
Austria restored their two goals lead in the 72nd minute through Laura Feiersinge who scored off a fine corner kick from Elisabeth Mayr.
Falcons did give a good fight despite playing with one-woman down but it was not an excuse as Austria ensured te feast on the opportunities coming their way as Jennifer Klein put an icing to tge cake to make it 4-1 in the 82nd minute to hand Falcons a humiliating defeat in Cyprus.
Super Falcons will have to ensure they beat Slovakia in their second group game on Friday.
The Cyprus invitational tournament is part of the Super Falcons preparation for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup to be hosted by France in June.