Nkwocha in, as Super Falcons land in Toronto
One of the longest serving players of the Super Falcons, Perpetua Nkwocha, will make her fourth attempt at winning the FIFA Women World Cup when the competition kicks off in Canada, next month.
Nkwocha scored Nigeria’s only goal against Canada at the last World Cup in Germany, their only victory since USA ’99.
The four-time African Footballer of the Year, 39, was earlier reported to have been dropped from the team, which would have perhaps, signalled the end of her international career. But the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) yesterday confirmed that she is in the team to a training camp in Canada ahead of the Women World Cup.
The Falcons landed in Toronto, venue of their training tour, yesterday to begin their final preparations for the competition.
In the team are some of the players, who took Nigeria to the final of the 2014 U-20 World Cup, which incidentally was held in Canada.
They include hotshot, Asisat Oshoala and US-based Courtney Dike.
On arrival at the Toronto Pearson International Airport, the Falcons were welcomed by Nigeria Deputy High Commissioner to Canada, Charles Onianwa, who charged the girls to re-enact the feat achieved by their juniors last year.
“I must first and foremost welcome you to Canada because the tournament we are all looking forward to is a very important one. Last year, the Falconets did us proud here and now we have the Super Falcons, so expectations are high and we have no doubt that you are going to clinch the cup,” said Onianwa.
In his response, Coach Edwin Okon said the Super Falcons’ arrival heralds the coming of the champions.
“ We are ready and I look forward to the finals and getting the cup here in Canada,” Okon enthused.
Team captain, Evelyn Nwabuoku and Francisca Ordega, who were already in Toronto, received their teammates at the Novotel Hotel lodge.
In Coach Okon’s squad in Canada are 26 players, but he is expected to name his final team on May 25 after a friendly game against the hosts.
Nigeria, which is Group D alongside Sweden, USA and Australia, will begin its campaign against Sweden on June 8 at the Winnipeg Stadium.