Ahead of Thursday’s encounter with their Cape Verde counterpart in the 2024 Women Africa Cup of Nations final round ,first leg qualifier at the MkO Abiola National Stadium, Coach Justin Madugu is of the opinion that the Super Falcons’ squad have what it takes to triumph.
“We are without a few regular players for various reasons but we are not here to dwell on that. The Super Falcons’ team remains the Super Falcons anytime, any day and anywhere. We have players in camp who will do justice to the badge and get us the qualification ticket to the WAFCON.
“Surely, we would have wanted a couple more days for the team to train together, but the fixture is the fixture and the window is the window, and we just have to make do with what we have and get the best out of the arrangement. Everyone in camp will play their part for the Super Falcons to qualify for Morocco 2024.”
A total of 20 of the 21 invited players were at the team’s camp on Tuesday morning, with only University of Pittsburgh of America’s Deborah Abiodun still expected.
Nine-time champions Nigeria reached this final stage of the qualification series following the withdrawal of Sao Tome’s senior girls from a second-round fixture in September.
The delegation of Cape Verde’s senior girls flew into Nigeria’s capital, Abuja on Monday and the visiting team had their official training at the mainbowl of the MKO Abiola National Stadium on Wednesday evening from 4pm.
Thursday’s encounter will begin at 4pm, with Madugu most likely to hand leadership of the rearguard to Mexico-based veteran Osinachi Ohale, who was among the first players in camp, and with Captain Rasheedat Ajibade to lead a midfield and attack that could include Peace Efih, Toni Payne, Esther Onyenezide, Omorinsola Babajide, Esther Okoronkwo, Uchenna Kanu and Gift Monday. Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie, in the shortlist for the CAF African Player of the Year awards holding in Morocco this weekend, will be in goal.
The 13th edition of Africa’s flagship women football championship will be staged in Morocco in July next year.