Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Closer Look At Africa's Representatives At The FIFA Women's World Cup 2011-NIGERIA

Nigeria has been a major player on the African women's soccer scene since the early 1990's and still continues to be the flag bearer of the women's game on the continent. Since their first world cup finals in 1991,many have wondered why Nigeria has never made it to the semifinal or final of the world cup considering the calibre of players in their arsenal.
Super Falcons 1991

 The 1991 world cup squad will be by far the best team ever assembled by Nigeria, a team comprising talented players such us, Florence Omagbemi,Omar Love-Branch,Eucharia Uche,Rita Nwadike,Chioma Ajunwa,Nukiru Okosieme among others.There has since been a steady stream of gifted players who blaze the trail of previously talented but underachieving squads on the world scene.Nigeria's dominance on the continent is unrefutable,however they are always found wanting at the world stage.

 Each era churns out,players who can compete with the best in the world,the Mercy Akides.Pepertua Nkwochas,Cynthia Uwaks are living testimonies to this fact.It is also evident in Nigeria's female players being the most sought after in women's soccer leagues in Europe and as such has the most professional players scattered all over Europe.

Once again Nigeria will represent the continent on the world stage in Germany with a star studded squad and the question being asked is " Could this be the year ?"
Super Falcons 2011

Previous world cup records and the road to Germany 2011

Being the most consistent country on the continent of Africa in terms of world cup appearances, the Super Falcons have had five previous FIFA Women's World Cup outings.
Their maiden participation was back in the first finals in 1991 where they finished at the foot of their group.
Their best showing so far dates back to 1999 when they were knocked out in the last eight by an emerging Brazil 4-3.
In one of the matches of the 1999 tournament, Nigeria fought from three goals behind in the last half hour only to fall to a Sissi goal in extra time.

Players To Watch
Pepertua Nkwocha,Rita Chikwelu,Ebere Orji

Nigeria has a strong attacking presence backed by an able midfield spear headed by Rita Chikwelu.

Nigeria tends to lose their shape and focus when under pressure and Goal keeper Precious Dede gets erratic when the heat is on.The team in past years has had that never-say-die attitude, a character they seem to have lost in recent times.

The stats
6 – The number of times Nigeria have won the African Women’s Championships, out of seven events. The Super Falcons have only lost once in the tournament, in 2008's semi-finals, when they fell to Equatorial Guinea.
2010 AWC, Nigeria defeated Equatorial Guinea at the finals by 4 goals to 2 and so qualified to Germany 2011 FIFA women's world cup.

19 – The number of goals Nigeria scored in their five matches at the 2010 Africa Women’s Championships.

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