The Nigeria national women’s football team, the Super Falcons, are talking tough ahead of Tuesday’s semifinal clash against the Lionesses of Cameroon at the ongoing Women Africa Cup of Nations.
The Super Falcons will be up against the Lionesses at the Accra Sports Stadium and the captain of the Nigeria ladies team, Onome Ebi, has expressed confidence of reaching the final ahead of their fierce rivals.
“We are in great spirit for the semi-final match with the Cameroonians,” Ebi told thenff.com. “We made our mistake against South Africa, and I think it was a great wake-up call for us. That defeat told us something: that we should never underrate any team and that we must be ready to give our 100 per cent for every match.
“We will give everything we have to get past the Lionesses and qualify for the World Cup, and then we can battle the final with whichever team we meet there.”
The winner on Tuesday earns an automatic ticket to next year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in France, with the loser having another opportunity as the third-placed team will also get a ticket.
The loser takes on the loser of the second semi-final between South Africa and Mali (also on Tuesday evening in Cape Coast) to determine who bags the third ticket to France.
“We are not interested in the losers’ route,” Ebi confirmed on Monday. “We want to get to the final and to fight to retain our trophy. We want both the World Cup ticket and the AFCON trophy.”
On her part, midfield ace Rita Chikwelu said: “When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. Playing Cameroon will bring the best out of us. It will not be easy and it should not be easy. We knew before the competition started that if we must retain the Cup, we would have to beat the best and strongest teams out here.”
The Lionesses bagged seven points from three matches to top Group A, beating Mali and Algeria and drawing with hosts Ghana in a match that saw the host team eliminated. Nigeria finished second in Group B with six points behind seven-pointer South Africa.
“We will work as a team on the day,” Asisat Oshoala, Woman of the Match against Equatorial Guinea, assured. “Together, we will achieve more. We all know that and we will follow that etho and get to the final. Cameroon cannot stop us.”
Tuesday’s match starts at 3.30pm Ghana time (4.30pm Nigeria time).
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