African champions Nigeria will depart the country through the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Sunday to participate in the annual Cyprus Women’s Cup tournament which begins on Feb. 27 in Larnaca.
Head Coach Thomas Dennerby selected 24 players for the tournament, which will also welcome another of Africa’s three flag-bearers at this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in France – South Africa – as well as Mexico, Italy, Finland, Belgium, Slovakia, Korea DPR, Czech Republic, Thailand, Hungary and Austria.
The Super Falcons’ first match of the tournament is against Austria, on the evening of Wednesday, 27th February, before further games against Slovakia (Friday, 1st March) and Belgium (Monday, 4th March) in the group phase.
Wednesday, 6th March has been fixed for the final match of the competition, as well as other classification matches (from 3rd – 12th).
Players and officials are scheduled to arrive in Abuja on Friday, with training sessions on Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday morning, before departure by Egypt Air on Sunday evening.
The delegation will sleep in Cairo on Sunday and arrive in Larnaca on Monday.
Former African Woman Player of the Year, Asisat Oshoala and fellow striker Desire Oparanozie, who both missed the China Women’s Tournament in January, have been included in the 24 –member squad this time.
There are also goalkeepers Tochukwu Oluehi and Chiamaka Nnadozie, defenders Onome Ebi, Osinachi Ohale, Glory Ogbonna and Faith Michael, midfielders Rita Chikwelu, Amarachi Okoronkwo, Ngozi Okobi and Halimatu Ayinde, and forwards Chinwendu Ihezuo, Ini-Abasi Umotong, Rasheedat Ajibade and Francisca Ordega. Former junior international Uchenna Kanu, now a student in the United States of America, is also called.
In China, the Falcons lost 0-3 to the host nation before bouncing back to whiplash Romania 4-1 in Meizhou.
24 SUPER FALCONS FOR CYPRUS CUP
Goalkeepers: Tochukwu Oluehi; Christy Ohiaeriaku; Chiamaka Nnadozie
Defenders: Glory Ogbonna; Faith Michael; Onome Ebi; Osinachi Ohale; Josephine Chukwunonye; Ngozi Ebere
Midfielders: Amarachi Okoronkwo; Ngozi Okobi; Rita Chikwelu; Halimatu Ayinde; Cecilia Nku
Forwards: Anam Imo; Asisat Oshoala; Rasheedat Ajibade; Francisca Ordega; Chinaza Uchendu; Chinwendu Ihezuo; Alice Ogebe; Ini-Abasi Umotong; Alice Ogebe; Uchenna Kanu
Flying Eagles to know World Cup opponents on Sunday
Nigeria’s U20 squad will know their group phase opponents at this summer’s FIFA U20 World Cup finals in Poland after the draw ceremony to be held inside the Gdynia Sports Arena on Sunday.
Already, the seven –time African champions have been slotted into Pot 2 of the draw, alongside African champions Mali, as well as New Zealand, Colombia, Korea Republic and Italy.
There will be six groups of four teams each at the 24 –nation championship, with the top two teams at the end of the group phase, as well as the best four third –placed teams, advancing to the Round of 16.
Hosts Poland, Portugal, Uruguay, France, USA and Mexico are in Pot 1, with Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Argentina, Ecuador, Ukraine and Honduras in Pot 3. Pot 4 has Japan, South Africa, Panama, Norway, Qatar and Tahiti.
Paul Aigbogun’s wards finished outside the medals’ zone at the Africa U20 Cup of Nations that ended in Niger Republic on Sunday, following consecutive penalty shoot –out defeats (to Mali and then South Africa) but picked the last spot available for Africa.
Poland, which co-hosted the 2012 European Championship with Ukraine, will host this year’s FIFA U20 World Cup finals in the cities of Lublin, Bielsko Biala, Tychy, Bydgoszcz, Gdynia and Lodz, 23rd May – 15th June.