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France 2019: Super Falcons Ready For Norway Test

France  2019: Super Falcons Ready For Norway Test

Nigeria’s Super Falcons will look to open their campaign at the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup on a winning note when they take on Norway on Saturday at the Stade Auguite Delaune, Reims, reports Completesports.com.

One of only seven teams to have made it to every edition of the FIFA Women’s World Cup finals since the inaugural competition in 1991, the Falcons have made it out of the group stage only once previously, and that was 20 years ago.

A 2-1 defeat of North Korea and 2-0 win over Denmark, on either side of a 7-1 roasting by Team USA, steered the African champions to the quarter finals, where they came back from three goals down to draw with Brazil before losing by the golden goal in extra time.

Nigeria’s closest walk to the knockout rounds since then was Germany 2011, where they lost by the odd goal to both France and Germany and then defeated Canada by the odd goal.

“It is true that we have not really pulled our weight at the FIFA World Cup before now. But I can say we have the team to do that here in France. The NFF has done well by ensuring good preparation for the team, with the tournaments that we played,” Super Falcons midfielder Ngozi Okobi.

“A lot is hanging on the first match against Norway. If we are able to get a good result, then we will take it from there.”

Norway comes into the encounter with the mindset that they should be able to steamroll the African champions. Only last week, the Grasshoppers hammered another African representative, South Africa 7-2 in a friendly. And going back 24 years, at the second edition of the FIFA World Cup staged by Sweden, Norway lashed Nigeria 8-0 in a group stage encounter in Helsinborg.

Head Coach Thomas Dennerby is asking his girls to take it one match at a time and develop a positive mindset about the finals.

“A positive mindset is key to what we are here for. You must believe in yourselves and have confidence in what you can do here. You must give it your best,” he told the players after Thursday’s training session at the Stade Jean Boucton in Reims.

A good number of the Nigerian mainstream play their club football in the Scandinavia region, to which Norway belongs. These include defender Osinachi Ohale, Ngozi Ebere and Faith Michael, midfielders Rita Chikwelu, Ngozi Okobi, Ogonna Chukwudi and Halimatu Ayinde, and forwards Anam Imo and Rasheedat Ajibade. These players should, indeed, have a very good idea of how Norway will set up and activate at the Stade Auguste-Delaune on Saturday night.

Pacy forward Asisat Oshoala, who has sealed a permanent move to FC Barcelona Ladies, was on Wednesday appointed team assistant captain. The top scorer and most valuable player of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Canada in 2014 has extra motivation to take the finals in France by storm.

Apart from sponsoring the team to preparatory tournaments in China, Cyprus, and Spain, capped with a two –week residential camping at the Avita Resort in Austria, the Nigeria Football Federation beefed up the team’s technical crew, with the appointment of Per Harlsson as conditioning coach and Matti Demegard as video analyst.

In China, the African champions played two matches, losing to the host nation but defeating Romania. In Cyprus, they lost to Belgium and Austria but defeated Thailand and Slovakia. In Spain, they narrowly lost to the Canadian national team.

While in Austria, they defeated Hungarian top division club Viktoria and also defeated a Slovenian top club, Pormuje.  

Saturday’s encounter between Nigeria and Norway starts at 8pm.

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  • “These players should, indeed, have a very good idea of how Norway will SET UP and ACTIVATE at the”

    Emphasis mine.
    Complete Sports, I hail thee. This sentence is full of activating energy that captivated me. hehe.

    Go go ladies. At least some useful info here for those who tot dey majorly played clubsides as prep.
    I have said u watch out for a certain Vice Captain, who works in same company as a certain Lionel the only Messi.
    I share grace. Bye now

  • Ayphillydegreat 2 years ago

    After watching France and Korea. I think the SuperFalcons May have a chance to beat the Koreans. It won’t be easy against Norway tomorrow, but the Falcons will not go down fighting and anything is possible VAMOS ARIBA SuperFalcons!!!!!!

  • Pompei 2 years ago

    All I know is – WE MUST NOT LOSE THIS MATCH BEFORE A BALL IS KICKED. Norway is a powerhouse of women’s football. But we have to believe. And if we go down, we go down fighting!

  • Omo9ja 2 years ago

    Well…. well…. well… I am expecting our ladies to go all out to beat Norway in today’s encounter.

    Why not, they can. For Japan beaten the defending champions Germany in Germany 2011 and all the top teams and becoming the first ever Asian team to win the woman world cup in the history of the competition, Super Falcons stand a chance.

    However, instead of wasting my time watching Super Eagles of coach Rohr and NFF lol, I would rather give it to our great Super Falcons of Africa. Good or bad, they are the best so far.
    Their achievements are their for everyone to see.

    Even, if they don’t make it out of their group which I believe they will, I’m still going to support them.

    This is their time. They have a coach who believes in his team and builds confidence and setting a target for the team to be accomplished in France.

    Coach Dennerby have been talking tough. He wants to achieve something big. Let’s see how it’s goes. What Super Eagles failed to do in Russia, Super Falcons can do more than that in France.

    I don’t celebrate failure, I’m rooting for our Super Falcons. Since Afcon begins this month and I’m not feeling the mood, first time ever that this will happens to me. Unbelievable. So sad. NFF, chai, NFF… kasala go burst sooner or later between you and Nigerians after this year Afcon if Super Eagles failed to make us proud.

    I wish coach Dennerby and his team a good outing in France. Ire o. God bless Nigeria!!!

    • Larry King 2 years ago

      what actually is your issues with the super eagles and Gernot Rhor. whatever negative imagination you have for them will not prosper in Jesus name.

      • Omo9ja 2 years ago

        My issues with coach Rohr are,

        He is not up to the task. That is number 1.

        He rubbished our league and he doesn’t believed in our local players. That is number 2.

        He selected three goalkeepers which he claimed were the best both home and abroad. No 3. I hope you are counting it ba?

        Should I continue?

        He doesn’t have confidence in his team.

        NFF are wasting Nigeria time on this coach.

        Afcon Is about to start, the manager still can say this is my first choice goalkeeper.

        I have no confidence in these three goalkeepers.

        Tactically and technically, I’m afraid.

        NFF will account for this for sure.

        I love coach Rohr too much but I’m sorry, my Country comes first.

        Nigeria image is at stake.

        I have more to say but time doesn’t permits me to talk wela. I repeat, I don’t have issue with coach Rohr because he has tried his best but his best is not enough for this kind of team.

        Super Eagles is a big team in Africa and with the traces I’m seeing, hmmmm. I wish him good luck.

        African football is physical. I am saying my own o. God bless Nigeria!!!

        • Guy you can’t know better than the coach! Have you not seen most of the players of the local league performed? Are they really better than those abroad? If they are better what are they doing Nigeria?

          • Oakfield 2 years ago

            U really have a very, very big problem @omo9Ja. I hope you’ll still be around when the eagles will blaze the trail in this year’s afcon. You and your nagative comments about Mr rohr are utterly insignificant bcos his record of achievements is there to speak for him. He doesn’t even know that someone like u exists, so continue with ur hating while he continues rising high with great achievements. N.b, ur siaone is yet to get a job o…

    • prime 2 years ago

      oga did u notice u made no point??

      • Oakfield 2 years ago

        Lol….I think say na only me see am,him just waste precious data writhing nonsense…lol

  • Match Preview: Nigeria vs Norway

    This evening, our darling Super Falcons of Nigeria will take on their Norwegian counterpart in the first group match for both with the odds squarely stacked against our ladies to come out with any meaningful result.

    You have to go back to 1999 for the last time our ladies won their first group stage match and that was the first and last tournament they also recorded a victory against a European side – the 2:0 win against Denmark in the group stages.
    Although Nigeria has attended all 7 of the Women’s World Cup tournaments, they have only managed 3 wins out of 22 matches played despite dominating the landscape of female football in Africa.

    Tournament after tournament, the Super Falcons have attended promising much but delivering less. So, why should this be a different tournament; why should any sane football fan expect anything less than a loss for the Super Falcons tonight culminating in another all-too-familiar group stage exit?

    – Calibre of the coaching crew: With no disrespect to previous coaches of the Super Falcons, Dennerby comes packed in all the flavours of a coach capable of leading the Super Falcons to the second round having led Sweden to third place finish at the World Cup previously.
    – Preparations: If you add the Women’s Afcon (excluding Wafu matches), the Super Falcons have played no less than 15, since April last year, to prepare them for this day. In those matches, they have scored no less than 30 goals whilst conceding 23.
    – Players: In Oshoala, Oparanozie, Ordega, Kanu and Rita Chikwelu, the Super Falcons have arguably their most experienced squad going to any World Cup.
    That is all well and good but some keen-eyed observers would be quick to draw attention to recent 2:1 defeat to Canada, 1:0 loss to Belgium and 3:0 crashing to China as evidence that, when push comes to shove, the Super Falcons will lose to more disciplined and organised sides.

    Whichever the case may be, I still strongly suspect that, like Dennerby said, lessons have been learnt from those episodes.

    One thing is however undeniable, this is a Super Falcons side that has been helped by the NFF to better prepare for this tournament.

    The first match this evening will set the tone for what is to come and with all factors considered, this Super Falcons side are capable of getting a draw or even nicking a slim victory from this encounter.

  • Match Preview Nig vs Nor (part 11)

    Our opponents Norway have qualified for all eight World Cup tournaments, winning once and getting to the quarterfinals four other times.

    As good as that initially looks on paper, the Scandinavian country hasn’t advanced past the round of 16 since 2007.

    In their continent, they appear to be fading as a force having lost all three matches in their last European Tournament (equivalent of Women’s Africa Cup of Nations) just two year ago, scoring 0 goals and conceding 4.

    A major, major distraction for them has been the refusal of their star player Ada Hegerberg (our equivalent of Oshoala) to go to the world cup due to a dispute with the Norwegian soccer federation over gender equality issues.

    However, they have been doing well recently having won 5 out of their 7 matches scoring 18 goals and conceding 7. Only last Sunday, they smashed 7 past South Africa conceding 2 in that match.

    But one thing jumps to me when analysing the Norwegians: they conceded goals.

    Allow me to display below the outcome of their last 10 matches and you will see what I mean:
    Nor vs Holland 2=1
    Nor vs Sweden 1=2
    Nor vs Japan 1=4
    Nor vs Scot 3=1
    Nor vs Canada 0=1
    Nor vs Den 2=1
    Nor vs China 3=1
    Nor vs Pol 3=0
    N.Zea vs Nor 0=1
    Nor vs S/A 7=2

    The only match they failed to concede was their 3:0 victory against Poland.

    So, with strikers like Oparanozie, Oshoala and Kanu in tip-top form, we should be able to breach Norway’s defence. But, it is how many that we will let in at the other side that worries me (we concede too many goals in second halves)!

    • Bomboy 2 years ago

      They beat South Africa 7-2. That is a morale booster for them. However, I want to believe that this team is a much improved one compared to their last competitive games at the AFCON.

      I am hoping0 nthat we can deliver a shock defeat to the Norwegians.