Monday, April 15, 2024

Super Falcons stars arrive Abuja for crucial Olympic qualifier


Captain and chief motivator Rasheedat Ajibade shall be among the many early birds because the camp of Nigeria’s Tremendous Falcons opens on Sunday for the African closing qualifying fixture for this yr’s Girls’s Olympic Soccer Event towards the Banyana Banyana of South Africa.

The 2 groups, arguably the most effective ladies’s soccer squads on the African continent, are at one another’s jugular for one of many two tickets from Africa for the Paris 2024 Olympics ladies’s soccer, with the primary leg going down on the MKO Abiola Nationwide Stadium, Abuja on Friday. The return leg is scheduled for the Loftus Versfeld area in Pretoria 5 days later.

Ajibade, whose savvy, talent and sapience helped the Falcons to the Spherical of 16 finally yr’s FIFA Girls’s World Cup in Down Below, shall be joined within the roost by home-based goalkeeper Linda Jiwuaku and defender Jumoke Alani (drafted in following damage to Saudi Arabia-based Ashleigh Plumptre) as early birds.

Younger defender Shukurat Oladipo, veteran goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, Japan-based Chidinma Okeke and Spain-based ahead Reward Monday are anticipated in camp early on Monday. The remainder of the squad shall be in by Tuesday, although USA-based African queen Asisat Oshoala isn’t anticipated till Thursday.


South Africa’s delegation, together with 24 gamers, will land in Abuja on Monday night.

The Tremendous Falcons are extra-motivated for this fixture, having not crushed the Banyana in regulation time for a few years now, and having watched because the South Africans carted away the Girls Africa Cup of Nations trophy in Morocco final yr after the Banyana edged them 2-1 in a gaggle part match.

9-time African champions Nigeria nonetheless name the photographs at that degree although, with 9 of 12 titles contested to this point, and with a squad brimming with youth and expertise, and the bounce of getting been Africa’s greatest performer on the final World Cup finals – unbeaten in regulation time till their exit by way of penalty shootout defeat to England.

In 2018 after they received their ninth title, the Banyana have been the victims after a penalty shootout on the Accra Sports activities Stadium.

Each legs of the fixture are of probably explosive high quality.

ALSO READ: Paris 2024: Nigeria’s Tremendous Falcons to battle South Africa on 5 April

Nigeria will financial institution on the bravery of goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, a rearguard anticipated to incorporate World Cup stars Osinachi Ohale and Michelle Alozie (and maybe returnee Chidinma Okeke and beginner Oladipo), a midfield of no-nonsense duo of Halimatu Ayinde and Christy Ucheibe (spiced with the nifty Ajibade and the slicky Deborah Abiodun) and a fore-line of Esther Okoronkwo and Uchenna Kanu (with Reward Monday, Omorinsola Babajide and returnee Chiwendu Ihezuo additionally accessible).


Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC); Tochukwu Oluehi (Shualat Alsharqia FC, Saudi Arabia); Linda Jiwuaku (Bayelsa Queens)

Defenders: Osinachi Ohale (Pachucha Membership de Futbol, Mexico); Jumoke Alani (Edo Queens); Shukurat Oladipo (FC Robo Queens); Michelle Alozie (Houston Sprint, USA); Nicole Payne (Portland Thorns FC, USA); Chidinma Okeke (Mynavi Sendai Women, Japan)

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Midfielders: Deborah Abiodun (College of Pittsburgh, USA); Halimatu Ayinde (FC Rosengard, Sweden); Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Jennifer Echegini (Juventus Women, Italy); Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid FC, Spain); Toni Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain)

Forwards: Omorinsola Babajide (Coasta Adeje Tenerife Egatesa, Spain); Esther Okoronkwo (Changchun FC, China); Ifeoma Onumonu (SLC Utah, USA); Asisat Oshoala (Bay FC, USA); Uchenna Kanu (Racing Louisville, USA); Reward Monday (Coasta Adeje Tenerife Egatesa, Spain); Chiwendu Ihezuo (Pachucha Membership de Futbol, Mexico)

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