African champions Nigeria intend to take all their opportunities when they clash with the senior women team of Niger Republic in Abidjan on Saturday in order to seal a place in the WAFU Women’s Cup Tournament.
The Nigeriens are the standout whipping team of Group B after a 10-0 bashing in the hands of Mali on Thursday evening, just after the Falcons thrashed Burkina Faso’s girls 5-1 at the same Parc des Sports in Treichville.
Former junior international Uchenna Kanu bagged a hat-trick, and was named Woman-of-the-Match. The Burkinabes prosecuted most of the encounter with 10 players after Salimata Simpore was sent off in the 16thminute for the foul that led to the first penalty kick.
Speaking after the encounter, head Coach Thomas Dennerby and his assistant Maureen Madu showed encomiums on the winning efforts of the Nigerian team Dennerby disclosed after the match.
Dennerbu said: “My team actually played well in this match. No matter how you say the opposition is weak it is not easy to put five goals into the net of Burkina Faso in a tournament like this.
“So I’m very happy with the girls. We will continue to work on this team until we achieve victory in this tournament.”
Assistant Coach Maureen Madu also corroborated Dennerby’s comment on the team’s performance.
“The girls played well in this match. Their fitness level really helped the team to record this wide margin of goals in our first match in this tournament. I’m confident of improved performance in our next match.
“Like the Head Coach said we will continue to work on this team until it becomes very strong and capable of winning this tournament. I want to everybody, including the fans for their support.”
Saturday’s clash should be even easier for the nine –time African champions, but they are determined not to take anything for granted as football has continued to prove to be unpredictable.
A high –score win on Saturday will earn the Falcons an early ticket into the semi finals, take confidence to maximum level and set them in good mood for the concluding stages of the of the sub-regional championship.
Against the Burkinabes, Uchenna Kanu opened scoring as early as the eighth minute, before Captain Nwabuoku and Amarachi Okoronkwo converted penalty kicks. Kanu scored two more goals in the second period before Charlotte Milogo pulled one back for Burkina Faso.
After Saturday’s clash with the Nigeriens, the FIFA World Cup –bound Falcons will tackle high –scoring Mali on Tuesday evening.
According to the team’s programme, the Falcons will fly out of Nigeria to Austria on 21st May, where they will spend two weeks at the world –renown Avita Resort in Bad Tatzmannsdorf perfecting strategies for the 8thFIFA Women’s World Cup finals. They will arrive in France on 4th June.
At the World Cup finals, holding 7th June – 7th July, the African champions will file out against Norway in Reims on 8th June, take on Korea Republic in Grenoble on 12th June and tango with host nation France in Rennes on 17th June.