Australia game will decide our faith, Okon admits


Assisat Oshoala scores Nigeria’s second goal in the 3-3 draw with Sweden…on Monday. PHOTO: FIFA.

Nigeria’s 3-3 draw with world women football powerhouse, Sweden, in their opening game of the on-going FIFA Women World Cup here in Canada is just the beginning of the numerous tests the Super Falcons would face in their bid to rewrite African history in this competition, Coach Edwin Okon has said.

Africa’s highest finish in the competition since inception is the quarterfinal recorded by the Super Falcons in 1999 when the United States hosted the competition.

Since then, no team from the continent has crossed the first round stage, a hurdle, which Okon believes his girls will cross. Nigeria meet Australia on Friday and according to Okon, a win in the match will put the Super Falcons in good stead for the final group game against giants, USA.

The Americans defeated Australia 3-1 on Monday. Speaking at the post match conference, Okon promised to work on the girls to plug the loopholes, especially in the defence, before the game against Australia.

“We will go back to the drawing board to make sure we correct those mistakes of conceding own goals and not being able to defend set-pieces. We played a brand of football that was more of skill to entertain our fans.

“Our next match against Australia is a must-win and we are moving forward from there. Nothing is going to stop us,” he said. Also speaking at the conference, Ngozi Okobi, who scored Nigeria’s first goal and was adjudged the most valuable player in the game against Sweden, said beating the Scandinavians was the plan, adding, however, that the team was satisfied with the draw.

“I am excited about this game because this is my first World Cup goal and I thank God for giving me the chance and opportunity to do this. “I was not surprised with our performance because we had planned to win the match against Sweden. The goals they scored were given to them by us, so I think we did well.”

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