Nigeria’s Super Falcons will this evening begin their 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations campaign vs South Africa at the Moulay Hassan FUS, Rabat, Morocco by 6pm (Nigerian time ).
Failing to fly vs the Desire Ellis tutored Bayana Bayana will leave the wings of the Falcons hurt with the South African ladies blossoming in stature and confidence to rival the Super Falcons rating as the undisputed queens of African Football .
To fly today, the adult falcons blessed with thin tapered wings which enables them to fly at high speed and change direction rapidly must watchout for the thorns on the path in the form of Bayana Bayana 36-year-old defender Noko Matlou, Midfielder Refiloe Jane , Linda Motlhalo, Jermaine Seoposenwe and the deadly Thembi Kgatlana.
The pre match hype around the growing reputation of the South African ladies is one reason the Falcons must defeat the Bayana Bayana . This will halt the slap of comparisons of the pedigree and profile of the Falcons who are defending champions of the WAFCON with the South Africans.
The memories from the 2-4 defeat in Lagos last year during the Aisha Buhari cup should serve as lesson to the Nigerian ladies about the quality of opposition they are facing in their opening game.
For keen followers of Football on the African continent, Nigeria and South Africa are giants . In Female Football Please !!!!! . The Super Eagles and Bafana Bafana their male counterparts have since lost the rights of being called giants .
Today’s game is a repeat of the 2018 WAFCON final. The Super Falcons defeated the South African ladies to claim a record extending title . A lot has changed since then. Manager Randy Waldrum and his girls will have to leverage on the talented mix of experience and youths in the squad.
Captain Onome Ebi (39) has seen it all in seven tournament appearances and is expected to partner Leicester City Ashleigh Plumptre at the back.
Other defensive options for the Super Falcons are Santa Teresa’s Glory Ogbonna, Deportivo Alaves’ Osinachi Ohale, West Virginia University’s Nicole Payne, Houston Dash’s Michelle Alozie and Edo Queens’ Akudo Ogbonna.
The Midfield will be marshalled by the evergreen Madrid CFF’s Rita Chikwelu . Others in competition for Midfield roles are Enterprising Atletico Madrid’s Rasheedat Ajibade , Eskilstuna FC’s Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene, Kiryat Gat’s Peace Efih, Eskilstuna FC’s Halimatu Ayinde, Sevilla FC’s Toni Payne, Minsk FC’s Regina Otu and SL Benfica’s Christy Ucheibe.
Against the South Africans the attack must be potent enough to convert the chances. Reigning African women’s player of the year Asisat Oshoala will expectedly lead the attack .
Other striking options are experienced CSKA Moscow striker Francisca Ordega , Gift Monday of Bayelsa queens , Vivian Ikechukwu (WFC Gintra, Lithuania); Chinonyerem Macleans (GSK Gornik Leczna, Poland); Ifeoma Onumonu (NY/NJ Gotham FC, USA) and Uchenna Kanu (Tigres Femenil, Mexico).
Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie is suspended for the opening game. Tochukwu Oluehi is expected to start in her place. This department is one Nigeria has always enjoyed smooth transition from generation to generation.
Today, Nigerians will stay glued to their TV sets hoping the Falcons are Super enough to fly past the Bayana Bayana . A win today to silence the hype around the South Africans and cement their place as the most formidable female team on the continent.
Nigerians are saying Fly Falcons !!! Fly !!.