Super Falcons’ forward Perpetua Nkwocha will win her 101st senior cap for Nigeria if she features in Wednesday morning’s FIFA Women’s World Cup Group D clash with the United States of America in Vancouver.
She will then be level with Super Eagles’ goalkeeper and skipper Vincent Enyeama, who won his 101st cap in the 2-0 defeat of Chad in Saturday’s 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier in Kaduna, a Nigeria Football Federation release announced on Monday.
The striker won her first cap for Nigeria in a friendly with Ghana’s Black Queens in Lagos in May 1999, and won her 100th cap when she came on for Desire Oparanozie against Australia in Winnipeg on Friday.
Before the 3-3 draw with Sweden in Winnipeg last Monday, Nkwocha had been one of only two Nigerians to score at the FIFA Women’s World Cup since Nkechi Egbe netted a famous equaliser against Brazil in the quarter-finals of the 1999 FIFA Women’s World Cup in the United States of America.
Nkwocha scored Nigeria’s only goal at the sixth FIFA Women’s World Cup in Germany four years ago, netting in the 1-0 defeat of Canada in Dresden on July 5, 2011. But the Falcons failed to progress after earlier losing by the same margin to France and host Germany.
Not only did Nkwocha become Nigeria’s first woman ‘Centurion’ when she came in for Oparanozie against Australia, in a surprise 0-2 defeat, she also became the oldest player in the history of the FIFA Women’s World Cup, at 39 years and 19 days. The previous older of the record, Meg of Brazil, was 39 years 18 days when she featured at the 1995 finals in Sweden.
In her meritorious 16-year international career, Nkwocha was also named African Woman Player of the Year on four occasions.
In Vancouver on Wednesday, Nkwocha looks to make history with the Super Falcons, at the same BJ Place venue that will host the Women’s World Cup final match on July 5. She will also be hoping to work wonders with the Falcons, not only to accomplish a first –ever defeat of the USA at the Women’s World Cup, but also to sail into the knockout stage for the first time since 1999, and for only the second time ever.