Nigeria’s Super Falcons will square up against west African rivals Ivory Coast in a two-leg battle for a place at the upcoming 2022 Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWCON).
The crucial match will take place at 4 pm at the Abuja National Stadium today.
Nigeria eliminated Ghana 2-1 on aggregate to reach the final qualification stage but this will be their biggest test yet.
On their part, Ivory Coast demolished the Niger Republic 20-0 on the aggregate score to get to this stage.
The match promises to be a tricky affair for Nigeria. Recall that the Ivory Coast knocked out the Super Falcons in the qualification series for the 2020 Olympics and will be full of confidence ahead of this two-legged fixture.
The Ivory Coast team also came into the clash securing the second leg in Abidjan making the Abuja match a must-win for the Super Falcons.
The Super Falcons are nine-time AWCON winners however the development of women’s football over the last decade means that there are no pushovers.
The Super Falcons manager, Randy Waldrum, while addressing newsmen ahead of the clash said he is aware of the threat posed by Ivory Coast.
According to him, “Every player in camp is aware of the high importance of these two matches against Cote d’Ivoire.
“We must win to get to the Women’s AFCON where the African teams for the FIFA Women’s World Cup will emerge. It is one step at a time, but we all know that we must win well in Abuja on Friday.”
In the same vein, veteran defender Onome Ebi was also cautious in her press conference.
She said, “These two matches are going to be tough; they would be like the Final of the Women’s AFCON itself.”
“The Ivorians stopped us from the race to the Olympics. We also know that it is by being in Morocco that we can defend our crown and also qualify for the Women’s World Cup. We are battle-ready”.