Super Falcons, Black Queens set for titanic clash

Nigeria's Super Falcons seek to bounce back against Portugal

The Nigeria women’s football team, the Super Falcons, and the Black Queens of Ghana will rekindle the fierce rivalry between them in Lagos on Wednesday as the race for qualification for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations begins across the continent.

Both the Falcons and Black Queens are seen as powerhouses as far as women football is concerned in Africa but one of them will miss the action at Morrocco 2022 with the newly-adopted qualification system by CAF.

Missing out on the AWCON is a costly option for both Nigeria and Ghana as it effectively means also automatically missing out on a chance to be at the World Cup.

With so much at stake, a potentially explosive tie is expected over two legs between these two West African neighbours.

Ghana and Nigeria have met in 17 previous matches, with the Super Falcons dominating with nine wins – compared to three victories registered by the Black Queens.

The Super Falcons will need more than their past records to navigate past the Ghanaian Ladies, and coach of the team, Randy Waldrum, admits his girls must get it right from Wednesday’s first leg in Lagos.

Coach Waldrum said: “It is important for us to get a good win at home and then go to Accra and play like warriors. These are two battles that we must be ready for.

“The Super Falcons just have to be at the AFCON and the World Cup and they are ready to give these two matches their all.”

Onome Ebi, Falcons’ central defender added: “These are two battles that we must win. We know that we have to start by winning well in Lagos on Wednesday and then go to Ghana and put up another big performance. We are not looking at this as home-and-away matches. We are looking at two matches that we must win.”

Good enough for the Super Falcons coach, he has the luxury of prosecuting the doubleheader against the Black Queens with his full-strength squad.

The likes of Barcelona’s Asisat Oshoala, Minsk’s Onome Ebi, Sevilla’s Toni Payne, and Dijon’s Desire Oparanozie are all in town for the titanic clash against West African giants.

For Ghana, they will be missing the services of some of their trusted legs including; Maccabi Kiryat Gat’s Sherifatu Sumaila, NJ/NY Gotham FC’s Jennifer Cudjoe, and Durgardens’ Elizabeth Addo.

Coach Mercy Tagoe’s squad is dominated by local-based players except for four foreign-based stars in the 22-player list.

READ ALSO: Falcons maintain top spot in Africa, unchanged in the world

While admitting they have a huge task ahead of them, Ghana’s assistant captain Fafali Dumehasi told CAFOnline.com, they are ready to play their hearts out to beat Nigeria to the sole AWCON ticket available.

“We’ve trained enough for the first leg match against Nigeria in Lagos,” the Police Machine goalkeeper said.

“Our dream is to qualify to the next stage of the qualifying series, then the 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations and later the Women’s World Cup in 2023.

“To achieve this, we are in Nigeria to play our hearts out so that we can bring victory back home.”

The 12th Women Africa Cup of Nations, scheduled for Morocco in the summer of next year, will also serve as the qualifying tournament for the 32-team 2023 FIFA World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand in 2023.

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