BEVERLY HILLS, February 22, (THEWILL) – Current African champions of female football, the Super Falcons of Nigeria, are scheming to once again overwhelm the Nzalang National of Equatorial Guinea as the group phase of the Turkish Women’s Cup tournament comes to an end on Tuesday, February 23.
The 1999 FIFA World Cup quarter-finalists, whose fine vein of form in this tournament continued with a 1-0 victory over Uzbekistan on Saturday evening after they had earlier beaten the Russian side CSKA Moscow’s Ladies squad by the same scoreline in their opener to the tournament on Thursday, will seek to add Guinea to their vanquished list.
The goal that separated the Super Falcons from Uzbekistan was from midfielder Halimat Ayinde. Falcons’ imperial captain Asisat Oshoala of Barcelona Feminino produced a scintillating cross in the 47th minute and Ayinde took it with grace and scored with class to give Nigeria the victory.
After that second win, Super Falcons coach Randy Waldrum, who is having his debut competition in charge of the ladies, was full of nothing but encomiums for the nine-time African champions. He also harped on the desire of the players to go for nothing less than victory.
“It is good to sustain the habit of winning,” Waldrum stressed. “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.”
Their final group fixture comes up on Tuesday, when the Super Falcons file out to contend against the Nzalang National at the Emir Sports Complex. They will have only one objective in mind: the determination to overwhelm the Guineans.
There will be more than the Turkey Cup at play for both sides, however. Nigeria will be out to punish the Guineans as the only team to have denied Nigeria the African title. In 11 editions of the Women Africa Cup of Nations, Nigeria have won nine while the Guineans have won two, in 2008 and 2012, instead of Nigeria.
In their minds, the Guineans will be out for blood too. At the last edition of the Women AFCON in Ghana, the Super Falcons lashed the Nzalang National 6-0 on the way to lifting their ninth title. The Guineans will remember that trouncing and come to exact vengeance.
But, the Guineans themselves have not shown they have the mettle to carry out that uphill task as they have been the whipping team of the group so far. They have lost their initial two matches to Uzbekistan, who thrashed them 5-0, and CSKA Moscow that beat them two goals to nothing. They have picked the ball from their net seven times without finding the net once.
It is in this state of mind that they will clash against the Super Falcons on Tuesday.