Super Falcons in final push for 2019 AWCON semi-final ticket
4-2 with Perpetua Nkwocha and Desire Oparanozie scoring a goal each plus two own goals which ensured that Nigeria regained her lost crown.
It is, therefore, evident that football rivalry exists between the two teams. However, the Falcons are expected to continue from where Zambia and South Africa stopped their massacre of the Nzalang Nacional of Equatorial Guinea as they bid to make it to the semi-finals.
Although they are favoured to win today’s match, Super Falcons have been warned not to be too confident as they get set t meet miserable Equatorial Guinea.
Much is expected from the Falcons because when they had their backs to the wall, they came out smoking against the Shepolopolo of Zambia.
Apart from the reigning African Women’s Footballer of the Year, Asisat Oshoala had a poor game by her high standard, the rest of the players justified the confidence reposed in them by coach Dennerby.
The Dalian Quanjian F.C of China player wasted a number of good goal scoring chances in the game. Fortunately enough, her failures were covered by her teammates Desire Oparanozie, Francisca Ordega, little Rasheedat Ajibade and Okoronkwo who came to the team’s rescue.
Dennerby, was relieved by the victory over Zambia but opined that the team could have gotten more goals against the Shepolopolo.
“First of all, I am very happy we managed to score four goals in this game, but honestly I am not 100 per cent happy with our performance because we should have scored more goals,” he told CAF media.
“After our opening game in which we lost, I talked about being professional and using experience to come back in the next game, not being anxious and work on hard.
“I don’t think this game we won today (Wednesday) is the defining game in the group and now we have to work harder in our next fixture so we secure a place in the semi-finals. So we stay cool and keep working. Of course I am happier than three days ago.”
Also speaking to Trust Sports, a former assistant Super Falcons coach, Mansur Abdullahi expressed happiness that the Falcons didn’t allow the momentary setback in their first match to deny them victory against Zambia.
“I want to commend the Super Falcons on their convincing win over Zambia. Having coached the team before, I am not surprised by their performance.
“The team has quality and can rise to the occasion especially when faced with any serious challenge. Although they lost to South Africa, I still believed they would bounce back today (Wednesday),” he said.
Abdullahi therefore tasked the Falcons to build on their victory over Zambia as they prepare for their last group match against Equatorial Guinea.
“The victory calls for celebration but I want them to move on from there. There are more matches to play so they should stay focused.
“I believe they know the importance of victory in their last group match with Equatorial Guinea. They need to win to reach to progress,” he advised.
A win for the Nigerians against Equatorial Guinea who were beaten 7-1 by the Bayana Bayana of South on Wednesday will see them book a place in the semi-final.
If the Super Falcons reach the semifinals, they would have only two hurdles to surmount.
Even if they lose in the semi-finals, victory in the losers match also called third place match would fetch them one of the three tickets to the Women’s World Cup in France in 2019.
Since the 2019 AWCON is serving as qualifiers for the 2019 World Cup, only the first three nations will qualify to be among the 24 teams that would slug it out in the global championship billed for 7 June to July 7, 2019 in France.
And it is imperative to state that Equatorial Guinea are not eligible for one of these places even if they were to make it through because FIFA had placed a ban on them for using ineligible players in qualifying for the 2016 Rio Olympics.