Falcons will survive group stage, Oshoala assures fans as World Cup begins in France
• Norway is dangerous, Ismaila Mabo warns
• Nigerian journalists may not attend due to visa hitches
Since 1999, the Super Falcons of Nigeria have been struggling to move pass the group stage at the FIFA Women’s World Cup, but their effort have been unsuccessful. Another opportunity has come, and one of the players, FC Barcelona Ladies striker, Asisat Oshoala, is optimistic that Nigeria will break the 20-year old jinx in France.
The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup will kick off tomorrow with the host nation, France facing South Korea in the opening match. The Super Falcons will take their turn on Saturday with what looks like an uphill task against Norway.
Oshoala, three times winner of the CAF African Women’s Player of the Year award, feels the Falcons have what it takes to conquer Norway, South Korea and France in the group stage. She is looking forward to fire Nigeria to glory in France.
Oshoala, who moved from Dalian Quanjian FC in China to Barcelona Ladies on loan, has been impressive, netting five goals in five matches since joining the Spanish outfit.
“I am still working hard to get better, every year I give my best and I just want to keep working every day, keep getting better than who I was yesterday,” she told FIFA.com.
Oshoala made history recently, when she emerged as the first Nigerian female to play and score in the UEFA Champions League final. She joined football greats like Finidi George, Kanu Nwankwo, Taribo West and Mikel Obi in that feat.
Ahead the match against Norway on Saturday, former coach of the Super Falcons, Ismaila Mabo has sounded a note of warning to coach Thomas Dennerby and the girls to approach the game with all seriousness saying: “The Norwegians I know in women football are very dangerous. We played against Norway at Sweden ’95 World Cup and it was a horrible experience. We lost 8-1. The Scandinavians believe in physical football and long range passes. The Falcons must do extra work to beat them,” Mabo stated. His record as coach of the Super Falcons at the World Cup is yet to be broken since USA ‘99.
Meanwhile, Nigerian journalists may not attend the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup unless the French Embassy in Nigeria decides otherwise in their stringent visa procedure. As at yesterday, all the journalists who applied for visa were yet to get response from the French Embassy in Lagos and Abuja.