Turkish Cup: Super Falcons Hope To Extend Winning Streak Against Equatorial Guinea

 

The Super Falcons of Nigeria will bank on their rich form to overcome the Nzalang National of Equatorial Guinea as the group phase of the Turkish Women’s Cup tournament wraps up on Tuesday.

The African champions pipped Uzbekistan 1-0 on Saturday evening, the same scoreline they earned over CSKA Moscow’s Ladies in their opening match last week Thursday.

Midfielder Halimat Ayinde got the goal off a fine pull-out by Captain Asisat Oshoala in the 47th minute to give Nigeria the three points over Uzbekistan.

Coach Randy Waldrum hopes the team will sustain the momentum.

“It is good to sustain the habit of winning. That winning mentality is key and once we habitualize it, we keep it and keep going with it. We will need it in qualifying matches and the big tournaments.”

On Tuesday, the Super Falcons take on the Nzalang National at the Emir Sports Complex, with the determination to overwhelm the Guineans who are the only team to have denied Nigeria the African title.

In 11 editions of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria have won nine while the Guineans have won two, in 2008 and 2012.

At the last edition of the Women AFCON in Ghana, the Super Falcons lashed the Nzalang National 6-0 on the former’s way to lifting their ninth title.

Equatorial Guinea have not exactly created any sensation at the tournament in Turkey. They have lost their two matches to Uzbekistan (0-5) and CSKA Moscow (0-2), having conceded seven goals and still looking for their first goal.

Super Falcons Prepare For Turkish’s Super Cup, Waldrum Impressed With Team Quality

 

Coach Randy Waldrum has expressed satisfaction with the quality of players in the Super Falcons’ camp ahead of the Turkish Women’s Cup opener against CSKA Moscow’s ladies squad at the Emir Sports Complex, Antalya on Thursday.

“I am really impressed with the group as a whole; I am happy to see players show so much talent. The opportunity to see a lot of players is really important to me especially this year that is not a qualification year.

“I want to expand the net to look at the other foreign-based and local players.”

While admitting that Nigeria has an abundance of talented players, the American tactician asserted that the pool of players must necessarily be expanded to look far and near and get the very best to represent Nigeria.

READ ALSO: Waldrum Signs Official Agreement To Manage Super Falcons

“We need to give opportunity especially to the young players that are up and coming from the various age-grade National Teams. Some of the players who featured at the last FIFA World Cup are getting older. It is important to develop the young players, give them confidence and get them ready for the next two FIFA World Cups. It is very important to look at the players in the domestic league.”

The former Coach of Trinidad and Tobago looked ahead and stated his vision, saying he wants to build on the accomplishments of the nine-time African champions and see how to push them up as credible contenders for global glory.

“The goal is to consistently qualify from the group stage, have a deep run in the FIFA World Cup and push hard to become champions.”

The Super Falcons will take on CSKA Moscow in Antalya on Thursday at 8.30am, before further clashes with the women’s National Team of Uzbekistan on Saturday (5pm) and with Nzalang National of Equatorial Guinea (2008 and 2012 African champions) on Tuesday next week by 9am.

Waldrum Signs Official Agreement To Manage Super Falcons

 

New Head Coach of the Women’s National Team of Nigeria of Nigeria, Randy Waldrum, has formally signed his contract with the Nigeria Football Federation, as he begins work with the Super Falcons.

The simple ceremony took place at the team’s Emir Hotels abode in Antalya, Turkey.

The Super Falcons are in Turkey to compete in The Turkish Women’s Cup Tournament, also known as the Alanya Gold City Cup. It is Waldrum’s first assignment with the reigning African champions.

President of the NFF, Amaju Melvin Pinnick, affirmed the belief of the football-governing body in the ability of the 64 –year old American to propel the Super Falcons to a higher level in women football’s global ranking.

READ ALSO: Infantino Kicks-Off Visit To Africa With Stadium Inauguration In Mauritania

“We believe that Mr. Waldrum is the right man to take the Super Falcons from where the team presently is to that higher level that we want it to be. We have been champions of Africa on nine occasions and it is time that we move up to competing stoutly for honours at the global level.”

General Secretary of the NFF, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi signed on behalf of the NFF, with NFF Executive Member Suleiman Yahaya-Kwande, Chairman of the Women’s Football Committee, Hon. Ayo Hulayat Omidiran and Technical Director, Mr. Augustine Eguavoen also present.

While disclosing that Waldrum would be officially unveiled at a ceremony as soon as he is in Nigeria, Pinnick also charged the General Secretary to endeavour to invite credible businessmen to have sessions with players of the Super Falcons any time they are in camp, with a view to guiding the players on how to invest wisely.

Super Falcons To Get New Coach Next Month – NFF

 

The Nigeria Football Federation has announced that a new coach will be appointed for the Super Falcons next month.

The former coach, Thomas Dennerby left the team unceremoniously in August 2019.

NFF president, Amaju Pinnick in a chat on Instagram live confirmed that a world-class coach will be appointed in the next two to three weeks for the senior women’s national team.

“We are on the verge of signing a final contract with a company, Philips Consulting. The company is top-notched in terms of human resource management and recruitment.

“The reason why we are doing this is to start doing things in a very transparent manner.

“We don’t want a situation where the NFF executive committee will just appoint a coach for the Super Falcons.

“Very soon, we will sign a contract with them this week. Once that is done, from Monday, they will now reach out via Zoom to conduct an interview.

“Within the next two to three weeks, I am 100% sure that we are going to have these coaches.

“We have seen world-class coaches interested in the Super Falcons job. I am in touch with them.

“The good thing about the Falcons is that the money to pay the coach is there already when we received their prize money from the last World Cup, which totalled about 762,000 Dollars, 30% was given to the players, the balance will be kept in a separate account, from there, we are going to fund the payment of the coach for the next two to three years,” he said.

The NFF also promised that the FIFA windows will be used to organised international friendlies for the team particularly this period that the African women’s cup of nations has been cancelled with CAF proposing the tournament will be held before the women’s world cup.

“I am promising the Super Falcons because I love them myself that whether there is AWCON in January or not, we are going to arrange friendlies for them as soon as the FIFA windows open. They are going to be playing friendlies because our plans are for them to do well at the next FIFA Women’s World Cup,” Pinnick concluded.

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

Falcons Coach Dennerby Invites 26 Players For WAFU Women’s Cup

December To Remember: Falcons Arrive In Abuja As Nigerians Praise Team
Super Falcons arrive in Abuja on December 2, 2018, after beating South Africa at the 2018 AWCON final. Photo: [email protected]

Super Falcon’s coach, Thomas Dennerby, has invited 26 players for the West African Football Union (WAFU) Women’s Cup Tournament in Abidjan, capital of Cote d’Ivoire.

The offer made to the players comes less than 2 weeks to the commencement of the regional competition.

Goalkeeper Tochukwu Oluehi, defender Glory Ogbonna, midfielder Amarachi Okoronkwo and forward Alice Ogebe are among 26 invited players.

Veteran midfielder Osarenoma Igbinovia and forward Chioma Wogu have also been called, as well as former captain Evelyn Nwabuoku.

READ ALSO: Channels Kids Cup: 32 Schools Unveiled For Lagos Preliminaries

Goalkeepers Alaba Jonathan, Christy Ohiaeriaku and Chiamaka Nnadozie will contest for the number one position with Oluehi, who maintained her place among the sticks as the Falcons won a ninth African title in Ghana last year and has kept the position ever since.

All invited players have been asked to report to camp in Abuja on Sunday, 28th April as training sessions would commence on Monday, 29th April.

The tournament will begin on May 8 to 18 with the Super Falcons to play in Group B alongside Burkina Faso, Niger Republic and Mali. Host nation Cote d’Ivoire will tackle Senegal, Togo and Ghana in Group A.

Nigeria’s Asisat Oshoala Joins Barcelona On Loan

Photo: Twitter – @FCBarcelona

 

FC Barcelona and Dalian Quanjian FC of China have reached an agreement for the loan of Asisat Oshoala for the remainder of the 2018/19 season.

This was disclosed in a statement on the website of the club’s website.

The 24-year-old Nigerian arrived in Barcelona on Thursday morning for the routine medical checks and then signed her contract in the president’s office at the Camp Nou in the presence of the director responsible for the section, Maria Teixidor, and sports manager Markel Zubizarreta.

Oshoala has been named African Footballer of the Year on three occasions (2017, 2016 & 2014) and won the Golden Boot and Golden Ball at the U20 World Cup in 2014 and was top goalscorer in the Chinese Super League in 2017

She’s quick and powerful (1.73 m and 70 kg) and has previous experience in European football at Arsenal (2016) and Liverpool (2015).

Expressing her excitement, Oshoala said, “This is obviously one of the best clubs in the world. The team has a great history and a wonderful football mentality”.

“I am excited about playing with Vicky Losada again. She’s a great midfielder, with a lot of energy and skill. I also met Fabiana in China and she helped me to make this decision”.

“My goal is to strengthen the team and help them to win and make history. This is a fantastic opportunity because I’m sure something big will happen here”., she added.

Super Falcons Win 2018 CAF Women Team Of The Year Award

 

Nigeria’s Super Falcons has been named Women’s Team of the Year 2018 by the Confederation of African Football, CAF.

The announcement was made at the CAF awards in Senegal.

Amaju Pinnick, president of the Nigeria Football Federation and first vice president of CAF received the award on behalf of the Super Falcons.

Meanwhile, Mohamed Salah completed a memorable day for Egyptian football by retaining his African Player of the Year award in Senegal on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old Liverpool star finished first with club-mate Sadio Mane and Arsenal and Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the other finalists.

Egypt crushed sole rivals South Africa 16-1 earlier Tuesday in a CAF executive committee vote in Dakar to decide which country succeeded Cameroon as 2019 Cup of Nations hosts.

CAF tweeted the 2018 winners, below are some of the tweets.

 

 

December To Remember: Falcons Arrive In Abuja As Nigerians Praise Team

December To Remember: Falcons Arrive In Abuja As Nigerians Praise Team
Super Falcons arrive in Abuja on December 2, 2018, after beating South Africa at the 2018 AWCON final. Photo: [email protected]

 

Nigeria’s female football national team Super Falcons have returned to the country following their triumph at the just concluded 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) championship.

The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) announced the team’s arrival in Abuja via Twitter on Sunday, a day after they defeated the Bayana Bayana of South Africa to win the title for the ninth time.


READ ALSO
Nigeria’s Super Falcons Defeat South Africa To Win 9th AWCON Title
President Buhari Congratulates Super Falcons For Winning AWCON


The Super Falcons overcame the South Africans in penalties after both sides failed to score in regulation time.

Football lovers across the country have continued to shower the team with praises following their brilliant display at the tournament.

Read some of the tweets below;

Super Falcons Media Officer, Gracious Akujobi Dies

FalconsThe Nigeria Football Federation and players of the Senior Women National Team, Super Falcons, are in mourning following the death of the team’s Media Officer, Miss Gracious Akujobi, on Thursday morning.

The NFF website reports that doctors confirmed Gracious Akujobi dead on arrival at the General Hospital, Maitama, Abuja at about 7am on Thursday after she suddenly took ill at the team’s Parkview Hotel, Zone 1.

She was said to have looked ill and appeared to have struggled hard to open the door to her room, when some persons noticed her.

The team doctor and physiotherapist and other officials moved quickly to attend to her and then rushed her to the hospital, but she died on the way.

“This is a very tragic occurrence. Gracious (Akujobi) was such an energetic, hardworking officer and her death has come as a terrible shock. Her commitment to the job was never in doubt.

“The NFF is in deep mourning with her family over this tragedy,” said NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi.

She first served as Media Officer of the Super Falcons in 2011, before she was moved to the U-17 Women National Team in 2012. She was re-instated to the senior team in 2013 and was with the team at the recently concluded 7th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in Canada.

Gracious Akujobi was born on October 26, 1977. She was a native of Owerri, Imo State.

Coach Okon Believes Super Falcons Can Win AWC Title

Super FalconsSuper Falcons Coach, Edwin Okon, believes his team has the quality to win the African Women Championship (AWC) for the 7th time by beating Cameroon in the final on Saturday.

Speaking after a hard fought victory over South Africa in the semi final game at the Sam Nujoma stadium in Windhoek, Namibia, Okon stated that the Super Falcons were mentally ready to beat any side to reclaim the title they lost two years ago.

“From the on set, we said it that we shall take the teams as they come. We did not care who we play in the final because we prepared to play who ever and we are ready to beat Cameroon in the final of the AWC

“South Africa gave us a big scare but we were unlucky not to score more than two goals in the first half. The final with Cameroon will be tougher but we shall also raise our game to beat them and reclaim the title

“We lost to them in the third place match in Equatorial Guinea and I will not say we are seeking revenge but we want to reclaim the title. The harder they come the harder they fall. Nigerians should count on us,” he said

Most Valuable Player in the match against South Africa, Asisat Oshoala expressed gratitude to God for the victory over the Banyana Banyana team, emphasizing that it was a difficult win.

“We are happy to reach the final and by the Grace of God, we shall reclaim the title. I thank God for giving me those goals that gave us the win and if I get the chance to score again in the final, I will gladly take it but it does not matter who scores so long as we win the cup,” she stressed.

The Golden Shoe and Golden Ball winner at this year’s FIFA U-20 Women World Cup said that she was not under any pressure to score in the final adding that the Super Falcons are blessed with plenty of goal bangers who can score vital goals to win.

Meanwhile, Coach of South Africa, Vera Pauw has commended the Super Falcons for emerging victorious in the semi final of the African Women Championship (AWC) and has tipped Nigeria to win the trophy.

“I have always known that Nigeria was going to be difficult for us but we gave it our best shot. We take solace in the fact that we gave good account and lost to a better side.

“Nigeria stopped us from playing our normal game in the first half. I congratulate them and wish them well in the final. I think the Super Falcons are better equipped to win on Saturday.

“We have played both finalists and I think I am in a position to say that Nigeria have a better team and I think they will win the cup,” she stated.

Play With Your Hearts, Pinnick Urges Falcons

 FalconsThe President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick, has charged the Senior Women National Team, Super Falcons, to play with all their heart when confronting the Banyana Banyana of South Africa in the semi finals of the 9th African Women Championship in Namibia on Wednesday.

Victories over Cote d’Ivoire, Zambia and Namibia shot the six–time champions to the semi finals on maximum points from their three matches, with victory against South Africa to guarantee a place in the tournament final and a berth at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in Canada.

“I am truly impressed with the way the team has played in the tournament and they have no doubt, made Nigerians happy. Now, they have come to a point where they cannot afford to make any mistakes.

“Against South Africa, we have to be close to perfection. The rivalry between our two countries will make the match more competitive. So, we have to be at our very best. Our girls must play with their hearts,” Pinnick said.

The clash at the Sam Nujoma Stadium in Windhoek, which starts at 5pm Namibia time (4pm Nigeria time), is a repeat of the 2012 match–up between both teams in Equatorial Guinea, which the Banyana won to reach the final.

“I have told the girls that they have to overcome the South Africans to qualify for the final, because I want to travel to Namibia to watch them play the final on Saturday,” Pinnick added.

Ikhana quits Falcons job, says target wasn’t met

Coach Kadiri Ikhana has quit his job as the head coach of Falcons two days after the disappointing outing of the squad against Cameroon in the third place tie of the African Women’s championship in Equatorial Guinea.

Prior to their third place loss to Cameroon’s Lionesses, the Super Falcons went into the 2012 edition of the AWC as the defending champions after lifting the trophy in the previous edition but their chances of defending the title slipped out of their hands after they lost 1-0 to 2012 host; Banyana Banyana in the semi-final.

And to worsen their predicament, the Falcons finished fourth place making it their worst-ever result at continental level.

According Ikhana, he decided to quit because his target was to lift the trophy in the 2012 edition of the AWC.

“I resigned because my personal target was to lift the trophy,” said Ikhana.

“I let the country down, so I deeply apologize and take full responsibility for the disappointment in Equatorial Guinea.

“This failure informed my decision to quit the stage.”

Ikhana, who was speaking to local media in the capital Abuja, had met the target set for him in his contract with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) but the 60-year-old felt that was not enough.

The NFF is expected to make an official statement on Ikhana this week.

Kadiri ikhana replaced the former coach; Eucharia Uche, whose contract was not renewed after last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany, and he signed a four-year deal in April.

He was charged with reviving the fortunes of the Super Falcons following their failure to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics.

Ikhana set the task of reaching the semi-finals of both the 2012 African Women’s Championship and the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup finals in Canada, as well as qualification for the 2015 All Africa games in Mozambique and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.

Hosts Equatorial Guinea beat South Africa 4-1 on Sunday to win the African Women’s Championship.