Interim coach of the Super Falcons Christopher Danjuma has expressed the readiness of his team ahead of this weekend’s third round, first leg, 2016 Olympics qualifying match against Equatorial Guinea, which will take place in Abuja on Saturday July 18.
Following the elimination of the African Champions at the group stage of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, Danjuma had called up 35 players to camp, of which the 29 that responded have been sweating it out in preparation for the encounter.
Two test matches have been played since they resumed camp early this month, with the team spanking Nigeria Women Premier League side, Capital City Doves 4-0 at the FIFA Goal Project before playing out a 1-1 draw against an U-20 boys’ team, Santos Soccer Academy, at the main bowl of the Abuja National Stadium.
They used to train twice a day but Danjuma cut it down to once a day from Wednesday while they moved their training to the main bowl of the National Stadium in order to get used to the turf where the match will be played.
“We see that the Falcons have come a long way with the style of play and the technical and tactical knowledge of the players,” Danjuma told the media.
“We’ve been working, going round the clock to check every material we have about the team (Equatorial Guinea), and we’ve been studying it. That is how our training have been geared, with other surprises we have underneath our sleeves.
“It’s all about the standard now. A standard for the Super Falcons is; win home, win away and win well.”
The coach also said everything is being done to ensure that the sudden loss of their media officer Gracious Akujobi will not affect the team, adding that they will play to honor the late Owerri born spokes person.
Enthusiastic Evelyn Nwabuoku, captain of the side has said the team is set to make up for missing the past edition of the Women’s Football Tournament of the Olympics, in London three years ago.
“We know Equatorial Guinea is a very good side but on our part, we have resolved to qualify because the last time Nigeria did not make it for the Olympics. We want to correct our mistakes by being at the Olympics.
“Hearing the Equatorial Guinea girls say they know us does not make us fear. If they say they know us, we also know them, that’s not a problem for us. All I want to tell Nigerians is that victory is sure because we will make them smile come Saturday,” Evelyn concluded.
The Super Falcon’s of Nigeria will be without prolific striker Asisat Oshoala and veteran defender, Onome Ebi for this tie but they should be able to make it for the second leg in Malabo.
The players in camp are:
Goalkeepers: Precious Dede, Tochukwu Oluehi Ibubeleye Whyte, Charity John
Defenders: Josephine Chukwunonye, Osinachi Ohale, Joy Jegede, Mariam Ibrahim, Ngozi Ebere, Gladys Akpa, Chisom Henry, Blessing Edoho, Alheri Jummai Ayuba, Ebere Okoye
Midfielders: Evelyn Nwabuoku, Ngozi Okobi, Sherifat Sahid, Halimat Ayinde, Cecilia Nku, Osarenoma Igbinovia, Winifred Eyobhoria, Amarachi Okoronkwo, Onyinyechi Ohadugha
Forwards: Francisca Ordega, Desire Oparanozie, Loveth Ayila, Ginika Ikeh, Chioma Wogu, Mercy Amanze