Dede had entered the match with an injury that saw her limping even from the very beginning of the encounter but Green rose to her defence, saying she should not be blamed for the own goal which resulted from a mix-up between her and defender, Osinachi Ohale.
But contrary to the position of Green who was said to have boasted before the match that as long as he remained the chairman of the technical committee, a one-legged Dede must be in post for Nigeria instead of second choice goalkeeper, Tochukwu Oluehi, many analysts who watched the once dreaded Falcons struggle to contend the rampaging Cameroonians say the goal was conceived because the limping Dede was not able to move fast to stop the harmless back-pass.
In a chat with Champion Sports immediately after the match, Green insisted that the choice of Dede was not a mistake because "she did not commit any foul during the entire match, the goal could not be said to be her fault, after all she saved many goals also, so there is nothing wrong with her starting the match ahead of the other goalkeepers".
Many analysts including some staff of the NFF were visibly angry because it was evident that the Super Falcons were not fit as they struggled at every interval to challenge the more enterprising and focused Cameroonians who told anybody who cared to listen after the match that they were happy with the outcome ahead of the return leg in Yaounde in October.
Another school of thought equally criticized the seeming over bearing influence of the technical committee chairman, Chris Green on the team as exemplified by his constant foray into the technical area giving instructions to the seemingly confused Coach Eucharia Uche who was seen trying to impress the big guns of the federation.
The return leg is certainly going to be a difficult one for Nigeria as the Cameroonians will only need a 1-0 victory over Nigeria to qualify for the London 2012 Olympic Games.
by Jude Opara