Perpetua Nkwocha, Photo Credit: MTN/CAF AWARDS Octagon SA © Rajesh Jantilal

Here’s a Sonny Side of Sports salute for Perpetua Nkwocha, the 34-year-old Nigerian striker who scored a record 11 goals at the recent African Women’s Football Championship in South Africa.  In the process, Nkwocha led “The Super Falcons” of Nigeria to another African title, and she broke her own record of nine overall goals during the tournament, set at the 2004 African Women’s Football Championship, which also was held in South Africa.

At the beginning stages of the most recent women’s competition in South Africa, Perpetua told reporter Mark Ouma that she wanted to “get back to her goal scoring,” after a disappointing showing at the 2008 African Championship. 

During that tournament, for the first time ever, Nigeria was not crowned champion, with host Equatorial Guinea taking top honors.  So, it was sweet revenge for Nkwocha and “The Super Falcons” to beat Equatorial Guinea, 4-2, in the final of the 7th African Women’s Football Championship.

When not playing for the Nigerian national team, Nkwocha is based in Sweden with the club Sunnana SK.  I know she’s hoping to score a few more goals at next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany.  This is the sixth time the Nigerian women have qualified for their sport’s premier event, and they’ll be joined in Germany by Equatorial Guinea, which will be making its debut at a Women’s World Cup.