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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Olympic champions, Canada and celebrated deadly scorer, Sinclair find Super Falcons hard nuts to crack

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FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 - Group B - Nigeria v Canada - Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, Melbourne, Australia - July 21, 2023 Nigeria's Chiamaka Nnadozie and Canada's Adriana Leon clash REUTERS/Hannah Mckay

Nigeria’s Super Falcons defied all odds and proved bookmakers wrong as they held gamely, the Olympic Games champions, Canada to a goalless draw in  their Group B match of the ninth edition of the Women’s World Cup.

Not even the celebrated serial goal scorer, Christie Sinclair could break down the resilience of the Nigerian side.

Great thanks to goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie helped Nigeria secure  the valuable 0-0 draw. The   result has thrown the Group B wide open.

Nnadozie saved a penalty in the 50th minute at Melbourne Rectangular Stadium, denying Christine Sinclair from the spot with a leap low to her left as the Canada skipper missed out on becoming the first player to score in six World Cups.

The teams were left with a point each, trailing Group B leaders Australia by two following the co-hosts’ 1-0 win over Ireland on Thursday.

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Both sides had their chances but Sinclair, who came off in the 70th minute, was perhaps the most frustrated, having also missed a good opportunity when she fired wide in the ninth minute.

Nigeria barely breached the final third in the second half but defended desperately to hold the Canadians out to the finish.

After the final whistle, Nnadozie slumped to her knees and pumped her fists while roaring in celebration.

Nigeria’s joy was tempered by a red card handed out to midfielder Deborah Abiodun deep in stoppage time. She will miss their next game against Australia.

Canada dominated possession and it was not long before Nigeria were opened up, with Sinclair finding space on the edge of the area and blasting wide of the right post.

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Nigeria belatedly found their groove and began chiselling away at the Canadian defence down the left flank.

Ifeoma Onumonu unloaded from long range in the 23rd minute, forcing goalkeeper Kailen Sheridan into a diving save at the far post.

Jordyn Huitema fired back for Canada minutes later with a good chance in the box but headed well wide.

The scrappiness continued, with Sheridan charging off her line 10 minutes from the break and missing the ball with a clearing kick to give Nigeria a glimpse at goal.

But Asisat Oshoala’s cross at the near post was blocked and both teams went to the break frustrated.

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Canada’s frustration spiked shortly after the interval as Sinclair was brought down in the box by Francisca Ordega, the penalty awarded by VAR.

But Nnadozie blocked Sinclair’s tepid spot kick to trigger a huge roar from Nigerian fans.

Another Canadian chance went begging when substitute Evelyne Viens latched onto a header in the area but volleyed straight into the arms of the Nigerian keeper as the Africans stood firm to the finish.

 

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Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

CAF Women’s Champions League Qualifiers draw holds on Wednesday

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The 2024-2025 women’s interclub football season will officially kick off on Wednesday, 24 July, with the draw for the CAF Women’s Champions League qualifiers in 4 zones: UNAF, UNIFFAC, WAFU B and CECAFA.

The draw will be conducted at 10:00 GMTat the CAF Headquarters in Egypt and live-streamed on CAF TV and CAFOnline.com. 

Below are the teams entered by zone and the dates of the qualifying tournaments:

WAFU B (10 – 23 August): Ainonvi FC (Benin), Hasaacas Ladies (Ghana), Inter d’Abidjan (Côte d’Ivoire), AO Étincelles OU USFA (Burkina Faso), AS Garde Nationale (Niger), Edo Queens (Nigeria), ASKO de Kara (Togo).

UNAF (21 – 31 August): CF Akbou (Algeria), Tutankhamun (Egypt), AS Far (Morocco), ASF Sousse (Tunisia)

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CECAFA (17 August – 4 September): PVP Buyenzi (Burundi), FAD (Djibouti), CBE FC (Ethiopia), Kenya Police Bullets (Kenya), Kawempe Muslim (Uganda), Rayon Sports (Rwanda), Yei Joint Stars (South Sudan), Simba Queens (Tanzania), Warriors Queens (Zanzibar)

UNIFFAC (16 – 24 August): Lekié FF (Cameroon), TP Mazembe (DR Congo), Atlético de Malabo (Equatorial Guinea), CSM Diables Noirs (Congo)

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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Colombia 2024: Danjuma invites 32 as countdown begins to Final Tournament

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Flying Eagles, Falconets To Resume Camp On Thursday -

With just eight weeks to their first match of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup Colombia 2024, Head Coach Chris Musa Danjuma has called up four goalkeepers, eight defenders, eight midfielders and 12 strikers to a training camp in the Federal Capital, Abuja in the first phase of preparation for the global tournament.

Team captain Oluchi Ohaegbulem is top of the list, with first-choice goalkeeper Faith Omilana, defenders Shukurat Oladipo and Comfort Folorunsho, midfielders Chinyere Kalu, Adoo Yina and Rofiat Imuran, and forwards Janet Akekoromowei, Flourish Sabastine and Aminat Bello also called.

Nigeria, a fixture at the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals since the tournament began as an U19 event in Canada 22 years ago, will contend with three-time winners Germany, Asian powerhouse Korea Republic and South American representatives Venezuela in group D of the competition scheduled for three Colombian cities, 31st August – 22nd September.

All the invited are expected at Serob Legacy Hotel, Wuye, Abuja on Sunday, 7th July.

ALL THE INVITED PLAYERS:

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Goalkeepers: Anderline Mgbechi (Delta Queens); Rachael Unachukwu (Nasarawa Amazons); Faith Omilana (Naija Ratels); Shukura Bakare (Nasarawa Amazons)

Defenders: Oluchi Ohaegbulem (Nasarawa Amazons); Jumoke Alani (Nasarawa Amazons); Shukurat Oladipo (FC Robo Queens); Oluwabunmi Oladeji (Naija Ratels); Folashade Adegbemile (Delta Queens); Chidera Okenwa (Delta Queens); Comfort Folorunsho (Edo Queens); Taiwo Lawal

Midfielders: Adoo Yina (Nasarawa Amazons); Olushola Shobowale (Nasarawa Amazons); Aminat Folorunsho (Rivers Angels); Chioma Olise (Edo Queens); Chinyere Kalu (Nasarawa Amazons); Joy Igbokwe (Naija Ratels); Rofiat Imuran (Stade de Reims, France); Zikora Agama (Naija Ratels)

Forwards: Delight Nwosu (Dannaz Ladies); Adaobi Okah (Remo Stars Ladies); Chiamaka Okwuchukwu (Rivers Angels); Chinaza Agoh (Delta Queens); Mary Nkpa (Heartland Queens); Chiamaka Osigwe (Edo Queens); Janet Akekoromowei (Asisat Academy); Mary Offor (Adamawa Queens); Flourish Sabastine (Stade de Reims, France); Sharon Ulumma (Heartland Queens); Aminat Bello (Otero College, USA); Reilly Adebowale (Bohemian FC, Republic of Ireland)   

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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Nigeria’s Flamingos drawn against debuting hosts in FIFA U-17 World Cup

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The Flamingos, Nigeria’s U-17 women’s football team have been drawn against hosts, Dominican Republic for the finals of the Women’s U-17 World Cup holding from 16 October to 3 November in two host cities of Santo Domingo  and Santiago de los Caballeros.

 Both Nigeria and Dominican Republic are drawn in Group A along with Ecuador and New Zealand.  In Group B are Spain, USA, Korea Republic and Colombia.

Group C has  Korea DPR, Mexico, Kenya and England while those competing in Group D are  Japan , Poland, Brazil and Zambia.

The hosts will make their debut in the competition on 16 October against Ecuador in Santiago de los Caballeros, with New Zealand and Nigeria completing Group A.

Herrera, the first Dominican woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, had a special message for her compatriots taking part in the World Cup. She said: “I am the living example that you can achieve your dreams. So, keep up the good work. I am looking forward to seeing those amazing games.”

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Reigning champions Spain, meanwhile, will kick off their campaign in Group B, in which they will face USA, Korea Republic and Colombia, runners-up last time around.

“The advice to all the players that will participate here is to be confident and go live your dream. ¡Y Buena suerte!” said Flores, who took part in this tournament two years ago in India.

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