By Samuel Ahmadu
Francisca Ordega was stretched off due to injury as Nigeria began their campaign for the Summer Series with a disappointing 1-0 defeat to Jamaica on Thursday night in Houston.
Ordega was handed the captain’s armband in the absence of Asisat Oshoala and the West Africans started on a bright note and almost handed them the lead as early as the third minute through the Levante forward at the BBVA Stadium.
The Jamaicans were denied by Tochukwu Oluehi from the spot in the 26th minute and the Levante star came close but her deflected shot from a corner was saved on the line. But the match officials overlooked the appeal of the Super Falcons captain that the ball crossed the line.
After a scoreless first half, Houston Dash defender Deneisha Blackwood put the Raggae Girlz ahead six minutes after the restart but Ordega could not rescue her side after she was replaced by Joy Bokiri in the 80th minute following a poor challenge.
Despite being hobbled off during his side’s loss, the former Washington Spirit forward revealed it was just a mere collision.
“I appreciate the concerns of everyone. But i’m fine and very well,” Ordega told SavidNews.
Corroborating Ordega’s remarks, an official close to the team, who spoke on anonymity dispelled injury concerns, told SavidNews: “Nothing happened to her. She was just taken off after the tackle only precautionary measures. There’s no injury worries in the team.”
Following their first defeat in eight games since July 2019, the reigning Africa champions will hope to bounce back from their opening defeat when they take on 29th world ranked Portugal on Sunday at the same venue.