Defensive bulwark Onome Ebi, midfield lubricator Ngozi Okobi and power forward Desire Oparanozie top the list of 27 players that Super Falcons’ Head Coach Thomas Dennerby has listed for the final camp in Austria ahead of the 8th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals taking place in France 7th June – 7th July 2019.
Goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, defenders Josephine Chukwunonye, Osinachi Ohale and Ngozi Ebere, midfielders Rita Chikwelu and Halimatu Ayinde and forwards Asisat Oshoala and Francisca Ordega, who all played key roles in the Super Falcons’ ninth continental triumph in Ghana late last year, are also included.
Dennerby has also picked Uchenna Kanu, who has shown tremendous firepower at the ongoing WAFU Women’s Cup in Abidjan with eight goals in two matches, as well as home –based professionals Amarachi Okoronkwo, Evelyn Nwabuoku, Chidinma Okeke and Chiamaka Nnadozie.
Nigeria’s final list of 23 players for the 8th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals will emerge from this group of 27, with four players to be cut towards the end of the two-week camping in Austria.
NFF’s Head of Women Football, Ruth David said on Monday that the African champions would depart from Abuja for Austria on Monday, 20th May for the Avita Resort in Bad Tatzmannsdorf – the same facility where the Super Eagles had their final camping programme just before the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
The Super Falcons will depart from Austria on 4th June direct to Reims, where they open their World Cup campaign against Norway on 8th June.
Goalkeepers: Tochukwu Oluehi (Rivers Angels); Alaba Jonathan (Bayelsa Queens); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Rivers Angels); Christy Ohiaeriaku (Confluence Queens)
Defenders: Osinachi Ohale (Vaxjo DFF, Sweden); Ngozi Ebere (Arna Bjornar, Norway); Onome Ebi (Henan Huisanhang, China); Josephine Chukwunonye (Kungsbacka DFF, Sweden); Faith Michael (Pitea IF, Sweden); Chidinma Okeke (FC Robo)
Midfielders: Cecilia Nku (Ferencvaros Torna, Hungary); Rita Chikwelu (Krstianstand DFF, Sweden); Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene (Eskiltuna United, Sweden); Evelyn Nwabuoku (Rivers Angels); Ogonna Chukwudi (Djurgardens IF, Sweden); Halimatu Ayinde (Eskiltuna United, Sweden); Amarachi Okoronkwo (Nasarawa Amazons)
Forwards: Desire Oparanozie (En Avant Guingamp, France); Anam Imo (Malmo FC Rosengard, Sweden); Asisat Oshoala (FC Barcelona, Spain); Chinaza Uchendu (SC Braga, Portugal); Uchenna Kanu (Southeastern University, USA); Rasheedat Ajibade (Alvadsnes IL, Norway); Francisca Ordega (Shanghai W. FC); Ini-Abasi Umotong (Brighton Hove & Albion, England); Alice Ogebe (Rivers Angels)
WAFU Cup: Falcons look to overpower Mali to top group
Goal –happy Super Falcons of Nigeria look to defeat their counterparts from Mali in Abidjan on Tuesday to finish top of Group B of the WAFU Women’s Cup Tournament heading into the semi finals.
The African champions set a tournament record on Saturday evening after beating the senior women team of Niger Republic 15-0 at the Parc des Sports in Treichville, effectively sealing a place in the tournament last four.
United States of America –based student Uchenna Kanu smashed in five of the goals, to add to the hat-trick she netted in the 5-1 mauling of Burkina Faso at the same venue on Thursday.
Cynthia Aku, who was named Woman-of-the-Match, got a brace, just as Rafiat Sule, while Chioma Wogu, Mary Ologbosere, Chidinma Okeke, Glory Ogbonna, Alice Ogebe and Joy Bokiri weighed with one goal each.
Tuesday’s encounter with the Malians is to determine the outright winner of Group B, with Mali having earlier victimized Niger Republic 10-0 and beaten Burkina Faso 3-1 on Saturday. A draw will suffice for the Falcons to finish top of the pool.
The in-form Kanu, a former junior international, who has now been listed by Coach Thomas Dennerby in the squad that will engage in the final World Cup camp in Austria as from next week, is expected to increase her tournament goals haul and also improve personal confidence ahead of the World Cup.
Former team captain Evelyn Nwabuoku (who is captaining the squad at the WAFU Cup), and other home –based professionals Amarachi Okoronkwo, Chidinma Okeke and Chiamaka Nnadozie are sure to play with greater vivacity having been named in the team for Austria.