- Associated Press - Saturday, December 3, 2016

YAOUNDE, Cameroon (AP) - Nigeria scored late to deny Cameroon a home triumph and extend its dominance of the women’s African Cup of Nations with a 1-0 win in the final on Saturday.

Desire Oparanozie’s 84th-minute goal in Yaounde gave defending champion Nigeria its 10th title in 12 tournaments. Only Equatorial Guinea in 2008 and 2012 has managed to wrestle the African soccer crown away from the Nigerian women in the last 25 years.

Cameroon came into this final bristling with confidence after winning all its group games and knocking out Ghana in the semifinals, the only team to take points off Nigeria in their group.

Spurred on by 40,000 home fans, who began packing into the Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium five hours before kickoff, Cameroon even had the better chances in the final only to end runner-up for the fourth time - all four to Nigeria. Nigeria beat Cameroon 2-0 in the deciding game of the last tournament in 2014.

This game was much tighter and Cameroon was more enterprising in the first half. Striker Madeleine Ngono had a chance in the 33rd but she couldn’t beat Nigerian goalkeeper Alaba Jonathan when one-on-one.

Nigeria, which survived a couple more chances, was fortunate with its late winner when Ngozi Okobi’s pass rebounded off a Cameroon defender and dropped into the path of Oparanozie to score.

That was a knockout blow for the Cameroon team and the home fans, which included Cameroon President Paul Biya, but the tournament overall has been a success for the country. Boosting women’s soccer in Africa, most of the games were played in full stadiums.

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