NIGERIA’S SUPER FALCONS will, this evening, in the 28,000 capacity Roazhon Park, in Rennes, France, keep alive hope of remaining in the on-going FIFA Women World Cup, in France, and advancing to the round of 16, if they cruise past host France in a win, or hang-on to a drew. Giving France as host, and having superior pedigree to the Super Falcons in women international football, the challenge for Nigeria is an uphill task.
Super Falcons’ unfancied opening defeat by Norway 3, Nigeria 0; placed Nigeria in a difficult position in advancing smoothly in Group A. Nigeria, however, redeemed their opening defeat, by beating Korea Republic 2—0 in the second game. France has qualified for the second round after two wins, and will not be under any pressure.
Thomas Dennerby, Super Falcons’ Head Coach, Sunday, during pre-match final training session at Stade Edmund Blanchet, restated that positive mindset, a calm, collected and surefooted approach could work wonders for the Falcons against France.
Dennerby’s words: “This is an important game for us and I believe you can rise to the occasion just as you did against the Koreans. The French have a good team but we are also a good squad and I think we can get a result if we have that mindset that it is 11 players against 11 and we stick to our tactics for the day”.
“Victory against the Koreans was very good. But I can assure that beating France would be even sweeter. It will certainly take us to the knockout stage and also win us that confidence that we can prevail against any team”, an optimistic Dennerby added
Desire Oparanozie, Rita Chikwelu and Francisca Ordega, outstanding Super Falcons players are on yellow cards. They must play with caution. If they receive further yellow cards in their match against France, they will be out of the Round of 16; should they beat France.
As if not bothered about this, Desire Oparanozie, captain of the Super Falcons, told thenff.com they know the approach to adopt in Rennes.
She said: “The win over Korea Republic taught us that so much is possible if we put our minds to it and we work hard. There is nothing to fear. We will go in there against France and give our best, and we are confident that our best will be good enough to take us to the next round.”
Asisat Oshoala, assistant captain, said confidence in the team, restored by Amaju Pinnick, Nigeria Football Federation, NFF, President, would motivate them in their match against France. They hope to survive against France by such confidence building. She said Pinnick played major role in the team’s victory over Korea Republic in their second group match, by confidence building on the team.
It could be that the Super Falcons will remain in France and move on to the round of 16, or return home after their final group game against France, this afternoon. Nigerians expect good outing against France from the Super Falcons.