The Super Falcons will on Tuesday (today) at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium in Abuja face Ethiopia in the second leg of the second round of the 2024 Paris Olympic qualifier.
The Super Falcons played a 1-1 draw with Lucy, as the Ethiopian women’s senior team are known, in the first leg of the doubleheader at the Abebe Bikila Stadium, Addis Ababa last Wednesday and will hope to get a win in Abuja today with an eye on the winners of the other game between Cameroon and Uganda as they head for the final round of the qualification series.
The Falcons failed to qualify for the 2012, 2016 and 2020 editions of the Olympics in London, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo respectively but are desperate to book a place at next year’s event in Paris.
However, standing in their way to the final round of the qualifier is Ethiopia, who defeated Chad 10-0 on aggregate in the first round to book a date with the Falcons.
Speaking ahead of today’s game, stand-in Falcons coach, Justine Madugu, expressed disappointment over the first-leg result but said they were determined to get the result in Abuja.
“We were not too happy about the result of that first game. It’s unfortunate not to win the first leg but we are equally realistic with ourselves. We had some challenges in that game and did our best to quickly surmount them. The girls have overcome those challenges and are really determined to make sure they are part of the Olympics next year.”
Team captain Rasheedat Ajibade assured Nigerians of victory in today’s game against Lucy.
She said, “The spirit in camp is excellent and we’re looking forward to victory. We will work very hard from the very first minute because we have no reason to underrate them; they gave us a scare in the first leg. Our objective is to earn a clear win and make progress in the race.”
Goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie added, “Our plan was to win the first leg (in Addis Ababa), but we have taken the draw and the lessons that came from there. We are looking forward to the return match in Abuja and we will go all out for victory.”
Newcomer Rinsola Babajide, who won her first cap for Nigeria in Addis Ababa, said, “Everybody wanted more from the first game; we know we underperformed. We really should have won but the circumstances made it difficult. Now, at home and in front of our own people, we’ve got the advantage and we just need to work harder than ever before, get the goals and most importantly, win on the
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