Super Falcons Crash Out Of 2020 Tokyo Olympics Race


African champions, the Super Falcons of Nigeria have been eliminated from the race to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics women’s football tournament on Monday after forcing the Les Elephantes of Cote d’Ivoire to a 1-1 draw at the Agege Stadium in Lagos.

Last week Thursday, both teams had settled for a scoreless draw in Abidjan and with today’s result the Ivorians will progress to the penultimate round of the qualification series against Cameroon.

As early as the 6th minute, Nigeria’s Gift Monday rattled goalkeeper Cynthia Djohore only to see her shot pushed away for a corner kick. But the Falcons failed to convert the series of chances that followed.

The visitors took the lead in a most unexpected manner six minutes later, as Nina Kpaho, straight from a free kick on the right, flighted the ball above a poorly–positioned goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie for the opener.

The Super Falcons did not lose steam, and in the 27th minute, skipper Asisat Oshoala should have equalized but watched her shot from a brilliant Gift Monday pass sail over the bar.

Seven minutes later, Nigeria drew level. From a counter-attack, midfielder Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene put Oshoala through with an intelligent pass, and the captain kept her cool to steer the ball past the big Djohore.

In the 45th minute, Francisca Ordega should have done better than heave the ball over the bar from the left.

Six minutes after the restart, Rasheedat Ajibade, gifted with an opportunity just outside the box after Bernadette Amani and Joelle Kouassi missed the ball, could only blast the ball away past Djohore’s left side of goal.

As the match advanced, the Falcons became more desperate as the Ivorians craftily wasted time now and again, and the introduction of Chinaza Uchendu and Folasade Ijamilusi failed to produce the goal that would have taken Nigeria to the next round.

Falcons Dominate Africa In Latest FIFA Ranking

Super Falcons, Afica, FIFA RankingNigeria’s Super Falcons have moved up two places from 37th to 35th in the latest FIFA world ranking.

The progress follows their victory at the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon in December 2016.

The African champions have also retained their number one position on the continent.

Similarly, the Black Queens of Ghana who finished third at the African competition made a step forward from 46th to 45th and are second in Africa.

However, the Cameroonians retained their 47th position in the world and are third on the continent.

Dalung Says VOA Interview Was Edited Out of Context

solomon-dalungNigeria’s Minister of Sports, Solomon Dalung, has cleared the air on his interview with the Voice of America, Hausa Service where he was reported to have said the Super Eagles do not need to attend the 2018 World Cup since they can’t win the trophy.

Mr Dalung said that the interview which he granted four months ago was misinterpreted, insisting  he has total confidence in the team to pick the sole tick in their group for Russia 2018.

He said that the interview was edited midway into a more comprehensive conversation and the act has sent a misconception about his commitment to the ongoing World Cup campaign.

“The statement was taken out of context. It was part of a comprehensive interview I granted four months ago when I was reacting to the status of African nations in global competitions and also football administration globally. Where do we stand?

“The question also was that whether Nigeria or any African country is likely going to host the World Cup. My reaction was what was captured.

“Unfortunately, the interview did not avail those who listened the complete narrative so that they can benefit from the background with which the response was taken,” he explained.

He maintained that the Nigerian government and the Ministry of Sport remain committed to ensuring that Nigeria re-positions itself as a global player in football and lead other African countries to the top of the game.

He urged Nigerians to support the Super Eagles to ensure that they do not lose the momentum that is in their favour in the 2018 World Cup qualifying series.

He added that his selfless contributions so far in Super Eagles’s quest for qualification, particularly ahead of the away win in Zambia, contradicts the impression that he was not in support of the team.

Dalung Says Siasia Has Not Resigned, Gernot Rohr’s Appointment Unofficial

Solomon Dalung, Samson Siasia, Gernot RohrThe Minister of Sports, Mr Solomon Dalung, says he has not been officially informed of the appointment of a new foreign coach for the Super Eagles by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF).

The NFF had in early August, appointed a German, Gernot Rohr, to manage the Eagles, despite Mr Dalung’s preference for a local coach.

He claimed that Coach Samson Siasia, who led the Nigeria’s U-23 football team to win a bronze medal at the Rio Olympics, had not resigned, contrary to media reports, although his contract with the NFF had lapsed.

Siasia had told reporters that he had on August 27 resigned as the coach of Nigeria’s U-23 football team because of what he describes as “a disrespectful system”.

Mr Dalung’s frowned at the treatment meted to Siasia by the NFF, alleging that they withdrew his official car in Abuja while he was battling to secure a medal for Nigeria in Rio.

While hinting that he had met with Siasia on Monday, he said Nigeria needed him ‎in football development.

Samson Siasia
Coach Samson Siasia

The Sports Minister further pointed out that even if the NFF would not re-engage him, the Federation should at least, give him some peace of mind to enable him make his contributions in a personal capacity.

He noted that it would be sad to have such coach leave Nigeria for another country out of frustration, just like many athletes did as witnessed during the Rio Olympics.

Abysmal Outing Of Team Nigeria

Dalung also cleared the air on the $390,000 donation to Siasia and his team by a Japanese surgeon, saying that after he met the donor in Rio, he was convinced there were no strings like match-fixing attached to the donation.

He attributed the abysmal outing of the Nigerian Olympic contingent to late release of funds and inability to develop home-grown talents.

The Minister emphasised the need for the National Sports Commission which he said was unfortunately scrapped by a government committee that recommended merger of ministries.‎

He was at the State House on Tuesday in Abuja to brief President Muhammadu Buhari on Nigeria’s outing at the ‎just concluded Olympics in Rio, Brazil.

Since Team Nigeria were able to win bronze medal in football, Mr Dalung urged the President to host the team.

Dream Team Win First Medal For Nigeria In Rio

Nigeria-dream-Team-in-Rio-OlympicsThe Dream Team VI on Saturday won Nigeria’s only medal at the Rio Olympics.

The football team, led by John Mikel, defeated hard-fighting Honduras 3 – 2 to clinch the bronze medal at the Olympic Games.

Sadiq Umar scored a brace with Aminu Umar also getting on the score sheet before the Central Americans fought back to take the game to 3-2.

They were earlier denied a place in the finals when they lost 2 – 0 to Germany while Brazil also beat Honduras 6 – 0.

The African Champions have so far, won three medals in their Olympics history.

They won gold in Atlanta 1996, Silver in Beijing 2008 and now have a bronze medal in Rio 2016.

AWCON Qualifier: Omagbemi Invites Oshoala, 39 Others For Falcons

FalconsSuper Falcons caretaker coach, Florence Omagbemi, has called to camp 40 players ahead of the 2016 Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON) qualifier.

Top on the list of invited players include; Asisat Oshoala, Desire Oparanozie, Chinwendu Ihezuo, Francisca Ordega, Onome Ebi, Ngozi Ebere, Halimatu Ayinde, Ngozi Okobi, Evelyn Nwabuoku and Joy Bokiri.

The seven-time African champions were drawn into the second round of the qualifying series, with the final competition to hold in Cameroon in November.

Senegal and Guinea will contend over two legs in March, with the winner to battle the Super Falcons in home-and-away contests between April 4 and 12.

Bayana Bayana Get $100,000 For Olympic Qualification

bayana bayanaSouth African women football team, Bayana Bayana, will get $100,000 for qualifying for 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The South Africans stunned 2-time African Champions, Equatorial Guinea, with a 1-0 away victory in Bata after drawing 0-0 at home, to reach their second successive Olympic Games.

Sponsors, Sasol and the South African Football Association surprised the women’s national team by pledging a $50,000 bonus each.

Coach Vera Pauw has been handed a life line to lead the Bayana Bayana to the Games.

Oliseh Retains 6 Home-Based For Tanzania Qualifier

Sunday-OlisehSuper Eagles Head Coach, Sunday Oliseh has retained six players from the Nigeria Professional Football League for September 2017 AFCON qualifier against Tanzania.

The players are Sunshine Stars duo of goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Prince Aggreh and Solomon Kwambe of Warri Wolves.

Others include Chima Akas of Sharks Football Club, Abia Warriors defender, Austin Obaroakpo and FC Taraba midfielder, Usman Mohammed.

They will be joined by 18 foreign-based professionals for the final phase of preparations ahead of the encounter billed to hold at the 60,000 capacity national stadium in Dar es Salaam on Saturday September 5.

The former African champions are expected to leave Abuja for Tanzania on Thursday September 3.

Super Eagles Move Up Four Places In Latest World Ranking

super eaglesThe Super Eagles of Nigeria has moved four places up in the latest monthly world ranking released by the world football governing body, FIFA in Zurich, Switzerland.

The team sits 10th in the continent and 53rd in the world, while Algeria remains the best football playing nation on the continent as the national team remain unchanged on the 19th spot in the world.

African Champions, the Elephants of Cote d’Ivoire is second in Africa and 21st in the world.

The Black Stars of Ghana, Tunisia and Senegal completes the continent’s top five.

However, the indomitable lions of Cameroon, Congo, Cape Verde Islands and Egypt also recorded improvements in their rankings to make up the top 10 teams in Africa.

Last month, the Super Eagles dropped 14 places to the 57th position.

FIFA Rankings: Super Eagles Crash 14 Places To 57th Position

super eaglesThe Super Eagles of Nigeria has dropped 14 places to the 57th position in the latest monthly ranking released by the world’s football governing body, FIFA, in Zurich, Switzerland.

The Super Eagles 2-nil victory against Chad in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) qualifier in June had no effect in the team’s ranking as they slipped from the seventh spot in the continent to the 10th spot.

Algeria retained the top position in moving up two steps to the 19th position in the world, while African Champions, Cote d’ Ivoire, retained the second spot moving two places to the 21st spot.

The Black Stars of Ghana is up nine places to the 25th position and third in Africa, while Tunisia an Senegal completes the top five in Africa.

Cameroon, Congo, Cape Verde Islands and Egypt comes in the top 10 playing nations.

Meanwhile, Argentina are the new best playing nations in the world.

Despite losing to Chile on penalties in the final of the Copa América, the World Cup runners up have leapfrogged over Belgium and Germany to take the top spot in the world ranking for the first time in Seven years.

New entries in the top 10 are Romania in the 8th spot and England in 9th and Wales, whose win over Belgium in the Euro 2016 qualifiers has seen them surge 12 positions to 10th place.

NFF President Commends Super Sand Eagles

President of Nigeria Football Federation, Aminu Maigari has commended the coaching crew and players of the Beach Soccer National Team, otherwise known as Super Sand Eagles, following the team’s 3rd straight triumph in the COPA Lagos International Invitational Beach Soccer Tournament.

The high-flying Nigerian squad dismantled African champions Senegal 4-2 in the final match played at the Eko Atlantic City on Sunday, to win the trophy for keeps, and Maigari poured encomiums on the boys while receiving the trophy in his office on Tuesday.

“I truly and sincerely commend the Super Sand Eagles for their consistency in doing Nigeria proud. This is the third time they are winning the trophy and this makes it the 10th trophy that the present NFF administration has won for Nigeria.

“I congratulate the players and their officials, and pledge that the NFF will continue to support all our National Teams, including the Super Sand Eagles, to do Nigeria proud in international championships.”

Sunday’s triumph followed similar spectacular results in previous years, which saw the Super Sand Eagles decimate world power Brazil 9-4 to clinch the inaugural edition in December 2011 and edge a very strong Portuguese team 8-7, after a fascinating final on December 16, 2012.

In 2011, the Nigerian boys, quarter-finalists at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in Ravenna, Italy prevailed over South Africa and England before overwhelming Brazil, and last year, were too strong for Lebanon and Argentina before Portugal also chewed sand at the same venue.

This year, Coach Adamu Audu Ejo and his boys blew Germany off the sands 7-1 before edging out Lebanon and prevailing over African champions Senegal.

Arsenal Call Oboabona Up For Trial

Arsenal have reportedly handed Nigerian international defender Godfrey Oboabona of Sunshine Stars, a trial

Oboabona was part of the Super Eagles squad that emerged African Champions at the concluded Afcon 2013 in South Africa.

The 22-year-old who currently plays for Sunshine Stars has opened up, saying Arsenal happens to be his favourite club since he was a boy and it is his dream to play for the Gunners.

“Though, I have offers from the top five leagues in the world, Arsenal happens to be my favourite club and it has been since childhood,”Oboabona.

Valued at £1m by his club, Oboabona, has 18 caps for Nigeria and Wenger is likely sign him up at the end of the season as Arsenal have been going through defensive mess since the season, hence Wenger’s reported impatient for the player to join the Gunners.