It was only 16 minutes before Desire Oparanozie announced their presence with a goal in an unofficial game when the Super Falcons defeated Slovenian giants Olimpija Lubijana with a goal to zero.
Ngozi Okobi and goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie were also rated for the first time this year, as the duo missed the Turkish Women’s Cup and the US Summer Series in 2021.
Nnadozie Chiamaka, Glory Ogbonna, debut Megan Ashleigh Plumptre and Akudo Ogbonna got along well as they passed lost passes in the heart of the defense for the first 10 minutes of the game.
It was barely 15 minutes of play when Desire Oparanozie was brought down and the Falcons were awarded a free kick.
Desire Oparanozie took the resulting free kick and hit the ball very hard and high as it sailed into the net, assisted by an initial dummy from Ashleigh to deflect the opposition defense in the 16th minute.
In the 25th minute, the woodwork also denied the chance for a second goal from Desire.
Coach Randy Waldrum initiated a series of changes in the second half: Yewande Balogun came on for Chiamaka, Joy Bokiri came on for Rita Chikwelu.
The Slovenian women were awarded a 70-minute penalty when Ashleigh stubbornly collided with her marker.
The resulting free kick went very high over the goal post.
Gift Monday was also introduced for Uchenna Kanu, Okeke Chidinma paved the way for Nicole Payne, and Ebere Orji also played.
In the 87th minute, Rashidat Ajibade’s goal was judged offside by the center referee.
The nine-time champions had used the game to complete their 8-day training camp in Vosendorf Austria ahead of the Aisha Buhari Cup in Lagos, Nigeria in September.