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Double World Cup chase: Super Falconets show the way for Super Eagles, look beyond Central African Republic



Coach Danjuma instructing Suoer Falconets during training session.

With Nigeria having the Central African Republic (CAR) to contend with in the paths to both the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the Women’s U-20 World Cup Costa Rica 2022, the Falconets have already put a leg in the next round with a resounding away win over CAR.

The seven-goal winners from the first leg on away ground, Nigeria’s U20 girls, Falconets feel no pressure as they host their counterparts from the Central African Republic in a FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Costa Rica 2022 at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena on Wednesday evening.

The next day, in the same city of Lagos, the Super Eagles will host the CAR men team in a World Cup qualifier.

The Falconets flew into Lagos on Monday from Abuja ahead of the return leg, and on arrival had a little rest before heading straight to business as Coach Christopher Danjuma and his assistants drilled the girls in a two- hour intense training session at the Legacy Pitch of the National Stadium, Surulere. 

Despite Nigeria the comprehensive 7-0 win in Duoala, Danjuma insists his girls will not be complacent when they face the central African side on Wednesday.

The Falconets have been scheduled to train at the Mobolaji Johnson Arena (venue of the recently-concluded maiden edition of Aisha Buhari Invitational Women’s Tournament) on Tuesday by 3pm, with the Central African Republic girls scheduled to have their official training at 4pm.


However, the Central African Republic girls are scheduled to arrive in the country at 3.30pm on Tuesday alongside that country’s senior men’s team, who are due to take on the Super Eagles in a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Africa Day 3 clash at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on Thursday.

Forward Mercy Idoko, with a brace, and Esther Onyenezide, Joy Jerry, Deborah Abiodun, Taiwo Lawal and Yena Adoo accounted for the trouncing of the Central African Republic girls at the Stade Japome de Douala.

Once done with the first-round task on Wednesday, the Falconets will have a date with the winner of the fixture involving Egypt’s U20 girls and their Democratic Republic of Congo counterparts. The first leg in Cairo ended 1-1, with the return leg in Kinshasa on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Football has appointed Nafissa Sani from the Niger Republic as referee for Wednesday’s clash that starts at 4pm. She will be assisted by her compatriot Hawa Douno Moussa (assistant referee 1), Prisca Danielle Ta (Cote d’Ivoire; second assistant) and another Nigerien, Zouwaira Souley as fourth official.

Souadatou Djallo-Kalkaba from Cameroon will be the match commissioner while Dr Abdulrahim Salami of Nigeria will be the medical officer.


Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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