Expectations are high of the Super Falcons to revive the dwindling fortunes of Nigerian football as they face Cameroon on Saturday in the second leg clash of the London 2012 Olympic Games qualifiers.
Nigeria is still mourning the inability of the Super Eagles to qualify for next year’s Africa Cup of Nations and the failure of Enyimba to reach the final of the 2011 Orange CAF Champions League.
In the wake of this, the Super Falcons have been entrusted with the damage repairs to restore Nigeria to its deserved position on the continental football landscape.
The Super Falcons have a 2-1 win from the first leg, and with the stigma of failing to qualify for the 2011 All Africa Games held in Maputo, Mozambique last month still hanging around their neck, they cannot afford yet another setback.
Under-pressure coach Uche Eucharia has assembled her regulars including captain Precious Dede, reigning CAF Women’s Footballer of the Year, Perpetua Nkwocha, Desire Oparanozie, Onome Ebi, Francisca Ordega and Ebere Orji for the task in Yaounde.
Fresh from their triumph at the All Africa Games, the Indomitable Lionesses are hoping to make up for the crashing out of their male counterparts from the continental qualifiers by beating the Nigerians to the title.
Experience-wise, the African champions are the favourites but head coach Eucharia is taking no chances and has charged her players to remain focussed throughout the encounter.
“Concentration is key, the girls need to be 100% concentrated to give their best in the match. We are not leaving anything to chance that is why all hands must be on deck to achieve our desired result,” Uche said before the team’s departure for the Cameroonian capital.
Nigeria has participated in three previous Olympics; 2000 (Sydney), 2004 (Athens) and 2008 (Beijing).
The winner of the tie will join South Africa to complete Africa’s representatives for the London 2012 Olympic Games.