Nigeria’s Super Falcons have indicated their readiness to battle Ethiopia and reach the penultimate round of qualifiers for next year’s Women’s Olympic Football Tournament in France.
According to Coach Justine Madugu, the Super Falcons will give their very best when they host the East Africans at the MKO Abiola National Stadium today.
It will be recalled that Nigeria and Ethiopia’s senior girls had put up a hard-fought battle in Addis Ababa last week Wednesday with the game ending 1-1.
“We were not too happy about the result of that first game. It’s unfortunate not to win the first leg but we are equally realistic with ourselves. We had some challenges in that game, and did our best to quickly surmount them. The girls have overcome those challenges and are really determined to make sure they are part of the Olympics next year.”
In the same vein, Chiamaka Nnadozie, who impressed at the FIFA Women’s World Cup and has been a key player for Paris FC in the UEFA Women’s Champions League, expressed confidence in the team’s ability to overcome Ethiopia and secure the Olympic ticket in the upcoming qualification rounds.
“Our plan was to win the first leg (in Addis Ababa), but we have taken the draw and the lessons that came from there. We are looking forward to the return match in Abuja and we will go all out for victory.”
Team captain Rasheedat Ajibade added: “The spirit in camp is excellent and we’re looking forward to victory. We will work very hard from the very first minute because we have no reason to under-rate them; they gave us a scare in the first leg. Our objective is to earn a clear win and make progress in the race.”
New-comer Rinsola Babajide, who won her first cap for Nigeria in Addis Ababa, said: “Everybody wanted more from the first game; we know we under-performed. We really should have won but the circumstances made it difficult. Now, at home and in front of our own people, we’ve got the advantage and we just need to work harder than ever before, get the goals and most importantly, win on the day.”
Ethiopia’s senior girls will be no pushovers, as the team defeated their counterparts from Chad 10-0 on aggregate in the first round to be eligible to square up to the Super Falcons. They defeated Chad 6-0 in Addis Ababa and followed up with a 4-0 lashing of their hosts in N’Djamena a few days later.