Falconets prepare to tackle Las Aztecas of Mexico to secure a place at the semi-finals of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.By Tunde Eludini
Nigeria Women’s U-20 team, the Falconets, are ready for their quarter final opponents – Las Aztecas of Mexico.
The chief coach, Edwin Okon, has said that he will not in any way underrate the CONCAF based team.
The match which is scheduled for the Tokyo National Stadium will be aired by 8a.m. Thursday morning in Nigeria, and is the 25th game of the on-going FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Mr. Okon, speaking on Wednesday evening, at the Pre-Match Conference shortly after the team’s official training, described their opponents as one full of surprises.
“This is a team that came from a 4-0 goal deficit against Japan in their opening match to qualify for the quarter final. It shows that it is a team with great potential and determination,” Mr. Okon said.
“But l have told my girls not to be deterred but they should be resolute. All the eight teams left in the competition are targeting the trophy, so it is going to be a tough fight.
Koloko Ejiro, the team’s media officer told PREMIUM TIMES that in yesterday’s training, the girls practiced penalty shoot-outs in case the match goes into extra time.
This would be the second meeting for both sides. In 2010 in Germany, both teams played a 1-1 draw at the group stage of the competition.
Unlike Nigeria’s falconets that have reached the quarter final five times out of six Women’s World Cup participation, this will be Las Aztecas second appearance.
Both Players and Coaches intently study their opponents’ matches after dinner in a bid to prepare for the quarter final game.
Nigeria, however, has an edge having gone beyond the quarters in 2010. Mexico was knocked out by Korea Republic.
Meanwhile Singaporean referee, Apbai Abirami, will be at the centre for tomorrow’s match and will be assisted by Cui Yongmei of China; while Lee Seulgi of Korea and Qin Liang of China are the second Assistant Referees and fourth official respectively.