African champions, the Super Falcons of Nigeria, are billed to return to the country on Wednesday after finishing third at a four-nation invitational tournament in China, according to thenff.com.
The Super Falcons recovered from a 3-0 defeat to host nation China and thrashed Romania 4-1 in Sunday’s third-place match at the Huitang Stadium in Meizhou.
Skipper Rita Chikwelu got a brace, as defender Onome Ebi and forward Ini-Abasi Umotong weighed in with a goal each for a rout after the Romanians had threatened to assert some power by canceling out Chikwelu’s 44th-minute opener.
Officials of the Super Falcons confirmed to thenff.com that the team will immediately start preparations for the Cyprus Women’s Cup, which will hold in Turkey from 25th February to March 7th.
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Finland, Hungary, Italy, North Korea, Mexico, Slovakia, South Africa, and Thailand are the other nations taking part in the Cyprus Women’s Cup.
After the 12–Nation Invitational Tournament in Cyprus, the Super Falcons will either play Spain or Canada before a final training camp in Austria that could also include two tune-up games.
Nigeria, the only African country to have featured in all previous editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup since the competition was launched in China in 1991, will tackle host nation France, Korea Republic and Norway in Group A of this summer’s finals.
The Super Falcons will open their account in France against Norway, at the 21,000 –capacity Stade Auguste Delaune in Reims on 8th June, before matches against Korea Republic in Grenoble on 12th June and against hosts France in Rennes on 17th June.
The 8th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals will hold from June 7 to July 7 this year, with France up against Korea Republic in the opening match at the Parc des Princes in Paris on 7th June.
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By Johnny Edward