Super Falcons Coach Thomas Dennerby says he has a fully fit squad and wouldn’t be changing much ahead of today’s Women Africa Cup of Nations semi-final against the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Faith Ikidi-Micheal suffered a concussion against Zambia and Ngozi Ebere limped off with an ankle complaint against Equatorial Guinea but Dennerby says both players are now fully fit for the encounter against Cameroon.
With a place in the final and a 2019 World Cup berth at stake, the Swede is expected to persevere the same line-up that started against Equatorial Guinea with Josephine Chukwunonye expected to keep her place at right-back ahead of the fit-again Ikidi-Micheal. The trio of Desire Oparanozie, Asisat Oshoala, and Francisca Ordega will be expected to keep their scoring run going having combined for seventy percent of the Falcons’ ten goals at the tournament. Oshoala with three goals is Nigeria’s top scorer while Oparanozie and Ordega both have two goals each.
Both teams have faced off a total of eleven times with the Falcons leading by nine victories to two. Their most recent encounter saw the Falcons eke out a narrow one-nil victory courtesy of a Desire Oparanozie 86th minute strike in the 2016 final of the tournament hosted by Cameroon. That victory followed another final victory over the Cameroonians this time in the 2014 edition in Namibia with Oparanozie once more among the scorers in a two-nil triumph for the Falcons.
There will be familiar faces amongst both sets of players with fourteen of the current Cameroon team having played in the 2016 tournament while Nigeria have ten players returning from that tournament.
Super Falcons Coach Thomas Dennerby: “I know the history between us and Cameroon but it doesn’t matter. Every game has its own life and other African teams are narrowing the gap and we have to work harder and harder to beat any other team. We expect a very tight game and hopefully, we are the lucky ones after the game.”
Indomitable Lionesses Coach Joseph Brian: “We want revenge. Yes, history tells us Nigeria has won the Women Cup of Nations so many times. History also tells us Cameroon have never won it,” Brian said.
“This is because of what we did previously, we will try to correct our mistakes there’s always a first time for whatever you are doing maybe today might be the first time for Cameroon. We are working towards it to make sure we change it. If we don’t score, we don’t want to allow them even to score us.”