After missing a boatload of chances against Zambia, Super Falcons striker Asisat Oshoala has described her profligacy in front of goal as “one of those days at the office” where “I just felt like I wasn’t going to score.”
The Dalian Quanjian forward was not at her clinical best after passing up numerous opportunities – including a scarcely believable three one on one opportunities in as many minutes – to open her goal-scoring account at the 2018 African Women Cup of Nations currently going on in Ghana.
Goals from Desire Oparanozie, Francisca Ordega, Rasheedat Ajibade and Amarachi Okoronkwo gave the Falcons a four-nil victory over the Shepolopolo in the Group B encounter played at the Cape Coast Sports Stadium on Wednesday, 21 November and Oshoala who could have ensured a more emphatic score-line had she taken any one of seven glaring chances told busybuddiesng.com that misses such as hers happen all the time to the most accomplished footballers.
“This is football, all of these things happen every day,” she said, “you have big players around the world just missed goals like that, even crying chances, so it’s one of those things attackers face one of those days at the office.”
Oshoala’s frightening pace means she tends to get a high volume of goalscoring opportunities, and while the striker does have a tendency to miss her fair share of chances, Wednesday’s performance was unusual for the sheer bizarreness of some of the misses including a succession of one on one chances between the 64th and 66th minute when she failed to even trouble Natasha Nali in goal for Zambia.
A hallmark of intelligent players is an ability to affect games even when they’re having a stinker and for Oshoala that came in the form of an assist for Ajibade to score her maiden goal for the Falcons in the 70th minute after she realised or as she put it, “knew” she wasn’t going to score.
“At some point I just felt like I wasn’t going to score yesterday I knew it, I saw it coming because I don’t struggle to score goals like that so if it happens like this is just I have to find a way around it to give passes and all of that and that was what I was actually doing at some point in the game yesterday,” she said.
The former Arsenal Ladies of England player said her profligacy would have been a problem “if we had not won the game” but that the four goals nil victory was “very good for the attacking team it shows the strikers were working”.
Having emerged top scorer at the 2016 AWCON in Cameroon with six goals, the three-time African Footballer Of The Year is yet to get going after two games at the 2018 edition, but Oshoala who scored ten goals to help her Chinese club retain their Chinese Women Super League title says she is fine with her teammates doing the scoring, as qualifying for the World Cup and retaining the AWCON title were much more important to her than scoring goals.
“For me, I’m not bothered about that that’s not my aim,” she told busybuddiesng.com, “it’s not my primary objective here in Ghana, my objective is to qualify for the World Cup and retain the trophy actually. So if my teammates [are] scoring, we are winning getting three points everything is fine everyone smiles that’s the most important thing. It’s about the nation it’s not about me.”
The victory against Zambia put the Falcons back on track for a semi-final spot after a disappointing loss to South Africa in their opening game. Next up is the final group game against the Nzalang Nacional of Equatorial Guinea and Oshoala says the Falcons “have no other option” than to “go all out” to get the victory.
“We have no reason to stay back,” she says on playing Equatorial Guinea, “[we] just want to go all out, play our game [and] make sure we get the three points because we really want to qualify from our group. So there is no other option, we can’t settle for a draw we just have to go for the complete three points.”
With Equatorial Guinea having conceded twelve goals in losing to South Africa and Zambia, there is an expectation that the Super Falcons could perhaps notch up significant numbers when the sides meet on Saturday, 24 November. Oshoala is however quick to sound a note of caution, pointing out that with nothing to lose, the two-time continental champions still have the pride to play for and it could turn out to be a much trickier game than expected if the Falcons get carried away with thoughts of filling their boots.
“Football is not like that,” Oshoala says about the possibility of the Falcons replicating the goalscoring feats of South Africa and Zambia against Equatorial Guinea.
“I mean, the primary aim is to get three points and then hopefully we get the goals as much as we can. As a team, of course, we want to score goals but if we start thinking about goals and forget about the primary aim I think it won’t be good for us.
“They’ve lost two games [and] it’s their last game of the tournament they know they have nothing to lose, it’s always difficult to play a team like that. I’m very sure they would want to go back with something but we don’t want to play them and then just get one point, I don’t think that’s going to be very good for us so we hope to win with lots of goals.”