Nigeria’s Super Falcons will be aiming to avoid elimination from the ongoing 2018 African Women Cup of Nations in Ghana when they take on Equatorial Guinea in their final group B match, this evening.
With South Africa already through to the semifinals of the competition after 7-1 drubbing of Equatorial Guinea in their match, it is now left for Nigeria and Zambia to decide the second team that would join Banyana Banyana in the semifinals from group B. Zambia face South Africa in the second group B final match.
The Nigerian ladies who are the defending champions must beat Equatorial Guinea to be sure of a place in the last four.
Speaking ahead of the match, the team captain, Onome Ebi revealed that the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has fully motivated them to go all the way and retain the trophy.
“The NFF have done their part very well. The ball is now in our court to do our part and make Nigerians happy, by winning against Equatorial Guinea on Saturday (today) and going ahead to win a ticket to the World Cup and also retain our African title,” she said
She said their victory over Zambia on Wednesday only meant the team was gradually returning to great shape.
“We are getting back to shape. In the first game against South Africa, it was not the Super Falcons that Africa knew that turned up. Defeat made us talk hard to ourselves. I think we are getting back to the form known of Super Falcons, the champions. We are not there yet but we are still pushing ourselves to reach our normal level. I believe our third game will definitely be much better.”
The experienced defender insisted that it had never crossed her mind that the Super Falcons would leave the tournament at the group stage.
“I never thought about that. I don’t think that is possible because to me I see us in the semifinals already. I have strong faith in the team that we are going to beat Equatorial Guinea and then we will take the knockout stage one match at a time.
“Nigerians should keep praying for us. They should believe in the Super Falcons because we are here for the trophy and we are here to qualify for the World Cup. I believe that with hard work and with God on our side, we are going to achieve our twin objectives.”
Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea are the only two countries that have ever won the African Women’s Nations Cup.
The Super Falcons are the most successful African national team (male or female). They have won the African Women’s Championship/Nations Cup 10 times; 1991, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2016 (the 1991 and 1995 editions were played on home and away basis).
The Equatorial Guineans won the championship in 2008 and 2012, the only two times that Nigeria failed to win it.