Super Falcons head to Antalya for Turkish Women’s Cup
By Olawale Alabi [NAN]
The Super Falcons are heading for Antalya to participate in the fifth edition of the Turkish Women’s Cup holding from Monday to Feb. 24, the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) has said.
Ademola Olajire, NFF’s Director of Communications, disclosed in a statement on Thursday that the Nigerian senior women football team were expected in the Turkish city on Monday.
“It is the first run-out for the reigning African champions, who reached the Round of 16 at the 8th FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in France in the summer of 2019, since being shockingly edged out of the race for the Tokyo Olympics by Cote d’Ivoire penultimate autumn.
“It is also the first call of the new Head Coach, Randy Waldrum, with the squad he is expected to mould into credible competitors for honours at global level,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ukraine, Serbia, India, Bulgaria, Uzbekistan and Equatorial Guinea are among teams confirmed so far for the 10-day tourney.
However, Zambia who are Tokyo Olympics-bound have pulled out for undisclosed reasons.
At the competition, nine-time African champions Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea’s Nzalang Nacional have been drawn into the same pool alongside Uzbekistan.
It is an opportunity for the Equatorial Guinea side to avenge a 6-0 spanking by the Nigerians in the group phase of the 2018 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Ghana.
Also known as the Alanya Gold City Cup, the tournament ranks as one of the more notable events on the women’s football calendar worldwide.
The Falcons will aim to become the first African side to triumph at the tournament, following the third-place finish by Ghana’s Black Queens last year.
Chile won the trophy with Hungary as runners-up.
Poland (2017) and France (2018 and 2019) are the other previous winners of the Alanya Gold City Cup.
Olajire added that Waldrum has consequently opened the team’s camp and invited 23 players, mostly from the group which reached the Round of 16 at the World Cup in France.
These include goalkeepers Tochukwu Oluehi and Chiamaka Nnadozie, defenders Onome Ebi and Chidinma Okeke, midfielders Rita Chikwelu, Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene and Halimatu Ayinde, and forwards Gift Monday, Rasheedat Ajibade and Asisat Oshoala.
FULL LIST OF SUPER FALCONS FOR ALANYA GOLD CITY CUP
Goalkeepers: Tochukwu Oluehi (C.D. Pozoalbense, Spain); Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Christy Ohiaeriaku (Edo Queens)
Defenders: Onome Ebi; Glory Ogbonna (Edo Queens); Osinachi Ohale (Madrid CFF, Spain); Mariam Ibrahim (Nasarawa Amazons); Chidinma Okeke (Madrid CFF, Spain); Habeebat Akinwande (FC Robo)
Midfielders: Rita Chikwelu (Madrid CFF, Spain); Esther Sunday (ALG SPOR, Turkey); Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene (Eskilstuna, Sweden); Antoinette Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain); Halimatu Ayinde (Eskilstuna, Sweden); Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Patricia George (Sands FC, Germany)
Forwards: Asisat Oshoala (FC Barcelona, Spain); Uchenna Kanu (Linkopings, Sweden); Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Francisca Ordega; Chinwendu Ihezuo; Gift Monday (FC Robo); Charity Adule (SD Eibar, Spain)