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Over two years have passed since Ini-Abasi Umotong and Courtney Dike were last invited to Nigeria’s Senior Women’s Team, the Super Falcons. However they are back in the team under new coach Thomas Dennerby, having been named alongside 15 other players for a friendly against France.
Nigeria are scheduled to tackle France at the Stade MMArena in the city of Le Mans, France on Friday, 6th April 2018.
In February, coach Dennerby led a composition of home-based professionals to the maiden edition of the WAFU Women Cup of Nations in Abidjan where they finished third.
This time however his squad has more of foreign-based stars with only four players from the home front; Onyinyechukwu Okeke and Chiamaka Nnadozie (goalkeepers), Glory Ogbonna (defender) and Anam Imo (forward).
The eight –time African champions will be using the match against France as part of preparation for their second round Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Burkina Faso or Gambia in June.
The friendly match also means the Super Falcons will not be sitting idle while some other teams negotiate their way past the first round (of which they were drawn bye) in April.
Nigeria’s squad to face France includes Rita Chikwelu, who captained the team to win an unprecedented eighth continental crown in Cameroon in December 2016.
The trio of Desire Oparanozie, Francisca Ordega and Ngozi Okobi also made the cut while there was no mention of Asisat Oshoala, the reigning African Women’s Player of the year.
According to the press release by the Nigeria Football Federation, U.S –based Dike and Ordega would be first arrivals in Le Mans on Tuesday, 3rd April – the same day the delegation from Nigeria will depart from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
THE FULL LIST
Goalkeepers: Onyinyechukwu Okeke; Chiamaka Nnadozie
Defenders: Josephine Chukwunonye; Ngozi Ebere; Faith Ikidi; Ugo Njoku; Osinachi Ohale; Glory Ogbonna
Midfielders: Rita Chikwelu; Ngozi Okobi; Ini-Abasi Umotong; Ogonna Chukwudi
Forwards: Francisca Ordega; Desire Oparanozie; Courtney Dike; Esther Sunday; Anam Imo