Falcons apologise to Nigerians over defeat by Bayana Bayana
• Ready for Zambian challenge
Players and officials of the Super Falcons have begged Nigerians for forgiveness over their opening day loss to South Africa at the on-going African Women Nations Cup in Ghana. The Bafana Bafana of South Africa defeated the Super Eagles 1-0 on Sunday at the Cape Coast Stadium, Ghana.
The Super Falcons’ next match is against Zambia in their second group game today.
Speaking in Cape Coast yesterday, the Super Falcons’ Captain, Onome Ebi appealed to Nigerians not to give up on them, saying they would do better in the forthcoming games.
Ebi assured Nigerians and supporters of Super Falcons that despite the poor start, they would play to qualify for the 2019 Women World Cup, as well as win the trophy for a record ninth time.
“We are determined to correct the lapses that cost us the match against South Africa, but we want to appeal for Nigerians’ continued support as we strive to retain the trophy,” she said.
Flanked by Asisat Oshoala, Rasheedat Ajibade and Rita Chikwelu, Ebi said they played as a team and in the interest of millions of Nigerians back home.
On allowances allegedly owed the players, the players disclosed that they received their camping entitlements three days ago and thanked the Nigerian Football Federation for its unflinching support.
Both sides enter the tie with different fate, as the Falcons surprisingly lost 0-1 to South Africa in their first match, while the Zambians amazingly beat tournament favourites, Equatorial Guinea 5-1 same day.
Yesterday, the team’s coach, Thomas Dennerby disclosed that his side had put the result of their first game behind them and were working towards winning today’s game.
Speaking at the pre match press conference, Dennerby said the team has no other option but to win Zambia.
“As a coach, I have to be professional and I said that ahead of the first game that whatever happens in game one, we still have other games and the worst thing is for the coach or players to start counting the goals or points to find out where you will be on the table.
“But we are working as we used to, trying to be the best way we can. I am still optimistic… we haven’t changed the terrain. It is definitely to secure a ticket to France and we hope that we can go all the way to the finals again. But we need to win this game,” he said.
Also speaking on today’s game, defender, Osinachi Ohale said the team was aware of the importance of the match.
Ohale said, “Of course we know tomorrow’s game is a crucial one. We are also prepared as we have seen our last game and we have made some corrections and hopefully we will out everything we did in practice in tomorrow’s game.”
She dismissed the idea that the players were not enthusiastic about winning another women AFCON trophy, stressing that it was their career and they needed no external motivation to play.
She said, “We are all mitigated because this is our career. No one will say I have been in the World Cup for 100 times so I am not gonna do my best. This is something we chose to do so we are going to always put in our best. And the last game should not bring something negative to the team because we always put our head high too make sure we deliver tomorrow.”