Connect with us

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Nigeria’s Super Falcons brace-up for hosts, Australia’s Matildas’ challenge

Published

on

What A Stretch! Nnadozie stops Sinclair’s penalty at the Rectangular.

It is the day after an impressive opener to their latest FIFA World Cup campaign and the Super Falcons are already looking forward to their second match of the big showpiece against co-host nation Australia at Brisbane’s Lang Park on Thursday.

Chiamaka Nnadozie is the big name on everyone’s lips in Brisbane and even as the locals shout to you across the parks “we shall be there, no worries”, once they notice you’re a Nigerian, they still mutter under their breath: “You’ve got a great goalkeeper.”

With captain Onome Ebi left on the substitutes bench, Coach Randy Waldrum handed the captain’s armband to the calm goal-tender, and she justified the confidence with a sterling performance, including a double save from iconic Christine Sinclair’s penalty kick five minutes into the second period.

Now back in Queensland, following the feat that left scrambled eggs on the faces of bookmakers, the nine-time African champions are looking forward to what would certainly be a most interesting encounter with the Matildas.

“We are in very high spirits, I can tell you,” Ebi told thenff.com on the team’s return to Brisbane. “It is the day after that massive point and we are already looking forward to our second match. The Aussies will not be easy, but we knew before arriving in Australia that no team at this tournament will be easy.”

Advertisement

The players were given the day off on Saturday, and only loosened up from the encounter that stunned the North Americans.

Even as ever-present Nigeria got a point off the Olympic champions in Melbourne, the Super Falcons still have a number of top performers in their ranks who have not tasted action, and are eager to do the business.

Midfielders Christy Ucheibe and Deborah Abiodun were massive in the early afternoon at the Rectangular, but suspended regulars Rasheedat Ajibade and Halimatu Ayinde are now available for selection, and the versatile Jennifer Echegini and strong forward Desire Oparanozie are also keen to get in on the beat.

“It is a tournament and we have decided to take it one game at a time. We have to go back and correct certain lapses, like how to convert our opportunities. We cannot afford to miss good chances any longer,” defender Osinachi Ohale said at the mixed zone in Melbourne.

Nigeria will square up to the Aussies at the Lang Park Stadium on Thursday (from 11am Nigeria time) with the arena expected to be filled to its 52,000 -capacity.

Advertisement

 

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.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Nigeria’s Flamingos drawn against debuting hosts in FIFA U-17 World Cup

Published

on

The Flamingos, Nigeria’s U-17 women’s football team have been drawn against hosts, Dominican Republic for the finals of the Women’s U-17 World Cup holding from 16 October to 3 November in two host cities of Santo Domingo  and Santiago de los Caballeros.

 Both Nigeria and Dominican Republic are drawn in Group A along with Ecuador and New Zealand.  In Group B are Spain, USA, Korea Republic and Colombia.

Group C has  Korea DPR, Mexico, Kenya and England while those competing in Group D are  Japan , Poland, Brazil and Zambia.

The hosts will make their debut in the competition on 16 October against Ecuador in Santiago de los Caballeros, with New Zealand and Nigeria completing Group A.

Herrera, the first Dominican woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, had a special message for her compatriots taking part in the World Cup. She said: “I am the living example that you can achieve your dreams. So, keep up the good work. I am looking forward to seeing those amazing games.”

Advertisement

Reigning champions Spain, meanwhile, will kick off their campaign in Group B, in which they will face USA, Korea Republic and Colombia, runners-up last time around.

“The advice to all the players that will participate here is to be confident and go live your dream. ¡Y Buena suerte!” said Flores, who took part in this tournament two years ago in India.

Continue Reading

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Dominican Republic 2024:Flamingos land in the Dominican Republic!

Published

on

Nigeria’s U17 girls, Flamingos, have secured their ticket to the 8th FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals to be staged in the Dominican Republic later this year, after a 2-0 defeat of their Liberian counterparts at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Friday.

Victory took the aggregate tally to 6-1 in favour of Nigeria, with extraordinary poacher Harmony Chidi setting a record of 13 goals in a qualifying series that will be difficult to equal in years to come. She had 11 goals before kick-off, but netted the two goals of the evening to take Nigeria’s total of the series to a whopping 25. Central African Republic fell by a dozen goals while Burkina Faso fell 1-7 on aggregate.

Her first came after only four minutes when she sped past the Liberian defence to toe-poke the ball beyond the flailing arms of goalkeeper Makula Konneh from a cross by Shakirat Moshood.

A goal feast was expected, but this did not happen, as Peace Effiong had a close call in the 17th and Moshood rocked the crossbar a minute after from 20 yards. Moshood also missed from close range with 10 minutes left of the first half.

In the 56th minute, Moshood blasted beyond the goalpost when faced with Konneh, but Harmony Chidi made sure of her brace seven minutes later when she lashed the ball beyond Konneh’s reach as Nigeria seized the ball from a defensive slip-up by the visitors.

Advertisement

The 8th FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals will be staged in the cities of Santiago de los Caballeros and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, 16th October – 3rd November.

Continue Reading

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

‘It shall be showers of goals’, vows Flamingos ahead of Liberia clash

Published

on

Head Coach Bankole Olowookere is confident that the Nigeria U17 girls, Flamingos, will not take their feet off the pedal when they take on their Liberian counterparts in a FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup final qualifying match in Abuja on Friday.

“We are battle-ready for the match on Friday. The girls are raring to go because they want to go to the World Cup. They are already dreaming of flying to the Dominican Republic.

“There is so much excitement in camp, and they are self-assured. However, I have warned them that it is never over until it is over. There should be no display of over-confidence on the pitch. We must approach the match like the first leg was a drawn game.”

Nigeria won the first leg 4-1 in Monrovia on Sunday, with 11-goal qualifying series revelation Harmony Chidi, Shakirat Moshood, Peace Effiong and substitute Blessing Ifitezue banging in the goals for the Flamingos. The hosts got their consolation goal off a penalty awarded with five minutes left of the encounter at the Samuel Kanyon Doe Sports Complex in Paynesville.

The Flamingos will take part in the FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup for the seventh time once they cross Friday’s hurdle.

Advertisement

They featured at the inaugural edition in New Zealand in 2008, and subsequently at Trinidad and Tobago 2010, Azerbaijan 2012, Costa Rica 2014, Jordan 2016 and India 2022, where they won the bronze medals.  

Continue Reading

Most Viewed