Oshoala, Ordega to lead Falcons’ attack against Senegal



Omagbemi seeks first win as senior team coach

Super Falcons coach, Florence Omagbemi, says the team would overcome Senegal in Friday’s 2016 Africa Women Cup of Nations (AWC) final qualifier in Dakar.

The Senegalese ladies defeated Guinea to get to this stage of the qualifiers while the Falcons drew bye. The winner will earn a slot to the 10th edition of the AWC to be staged by Cameroun later this year. Nigeria is the defending champion.

Before departing for Dakar yesterday, Omagbemi told The Guardian that she was confident the Falcons would put smiles on the faces of Nigerians by beating Senegal on their own soil.

“We (technical crew) have selected the best players we think can do the job in Dakar. In my playing days, beating a team like Senegal wouldn’t have been a problem for the Super Falcons, but everything has changed. All the teams preparing to meet Nigeria now always sit tight, but I don’t see Senegal surviving us,” she said.

With the Super Falcons out of the Rio Olympics Games, the new coach says qualifying for the AWC in Cameroun is not negotiable.

Friday’s first leg will hold in Dakar, while the second leg will take place in Abuja on April 12.

The Guardian learnt yesterday that 18 players made Omagbemi’s team for the battle of Dakar. But one of the foreign-based strikers, Esther Sunday, could not make the cut.

The team to Dakar is made up of two goalkeepers, six defenders, five midfielders and five attackers.

Arsenal Ladies new sign on, Asisat Oshoala, and Washington Spirit USA striker, Francisca Ordega, are expected to lead Falcons’ attack against the Senegalese.

Others who made the trip to Dakar include goalkeeper Ibubeleye Whyte, Ugo Njoku, Osinachi Ohale, Onome Ebi, Ngozi Ebere, Rita Chikwelu and Ngozi Okobi.

This is Omagbemi’s first assignment as Super Falcons coach. She assisted Edwin Okon to the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Japan, where Nigeria lost in the semifinal.

She has been working with FIFA, first as a member of the U-17 World Cup organising body in 2012 and 2014 before she was elevated to the senior level, where she served as a member of FIFA Technical Study Group at Canada 2015 Women’s World Cup.

She captained the Super Falcons for 14 years, winning the AWC title five times. She led Nigeria to four World Cup and two Olympics Games.

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