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Oshoala Fires Warning To World Cup Opponents

Oladipo Okubanjo

As the final countdown begins to the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, African women’s player of the year, Asisat Oshoala, says Nigeria’s Super Falcons have the ability to wreck the defense of any opposing team at the championship.

The Super Falcons, nestled in Group D of the tournament alongside the United States, Australia and Sweden, departed Nigeria for Canada Tuesday night, with the Nigeria Football Federation urging the Coach Edwin Okon-led squad to surpass the quarter-final feat, which is the country’s best in history of her participation in the women’s World Cup. Coach Okon currently has in his squad some of the best goal poachers ever to play for the Super Falcons.

These include Oshoala, Desire Oparanozie, Iniabasi Umotong, Courtney Dike and Francesca Ordega, even though it’s uncertain all of them will make Nigeria’s final team for the competition in Canada. But Liverpool Ladies striker, Oshoala, is confident that should Falcons’ forwards be able to achieve cohesion, the team will have the best attack at the tournament.

“We have a very good attack and I think that is one thing that will work for us if we blend properly as a team,” said the 20-year-old. “I don’t know if all of us (attackers) will make the final squad but if we do, I think we will have the deadliest attack at the World Cup.

“The most important thing is just for us to get a better understanding of one another, understand each person’s strengths and that will give us an advantage.” The Falcons will play Sweden in their opening fixture and Oshoala is expected to lead Nigeria’s forward line but she says it will be a team effort and not just her.

“I’m not the only one on the team, I have teammates and it’s going to be a collective effort,” she said. Meanwhile, the NFF, which last week announced an N80 million worth of incentives for the Super Falcons, says the current players have a great opportunity to become the first squad from the continent to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup. The NFF President Amaju Pinnick, hard shortly before the team’s departure to Canada challenged the girls to shred their previous World Cup mark in Canada.

Amaju, in a farewell speech delivered on his behalf by Chairman of the Nigeria Women Football League, Mrs Dilichukwu Onyedinma, said the present Super Falcons have the ability and capacity to go all the way. “You have always done the nation proud and I see you doing even better in Canada,” he said.

“As African champions, I want you to go to the World Cup this time with a clear determination to do better than any of your predecessors have ever done. “Our record in the World Cup is quarter-final berth, set by the Class of 1999. The NFF wants you to do much better in Canada, and we believe you can.” Responding, stand–in captain Osinachi Ohale said: “We respect the teams in our group, but we do not fear any team. As African champions, we go in there with a lot of confidence.”

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