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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Oshoala replaced after opting out of final AFCON qualifying fixture

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Coach Justin Madugu has been compelled to pick replacements for forward Asisat Oshoala and midfielder Jennifer Echegini after the duo voluntarily opted out of the Super Falcons’ squad that is due to contest a 2024 Women Africa Cup of Nations final qualifying fixture against Cape Verde, with the first leg in Abuja in four days.

 

NFF’s Assistant Director (Technical), Abdulrafiu Yusuf, said the two players had been sent their flight tickets to travel to Nigeria a whole week before they announced on Saturday that they would be unable to join the squad.

 

“We were surprised that they had the flight tickets for so long and did not say anything, only for them to send different messages on Saturday that they would be unable to make the trip. However, Coach Madugu has moved swiftly to call up replacements for them,” disclosed Yusuf.

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Midfield lynchpin Halimatu Ayinde, who missed the 2024 Olympics qualifying fixture against Ethiopia last month, is still out injured, and forward Ifeoma Onumonu also requested to be left out, saying she is nursing an injury. Defender Michelle Alozie told the team administrator that she will be undergoing a surgery.

 

Madugu has called up Portugal-based Peace Efih to once again fill the space vacated by Ayinde, while Rivers Angels’ midfielder Motunrayo Ezekiel will take the place of Christy Ucheibe, who is unable to travel to Nigeria from her base in Portugal.

 

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Nigeria U20 Girls’ ace forward Chioma Olise will take the place of US-based Echegini while Chiamaka Chukwu of Rivers Angels has been called up to take Oshoala’s place.

 

The Super Falcons will host the first leg of the fixture against their counterparts from Cape Verde at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Thursday, 30th November, with the second leg scheduled for the Santiago-Estadio Nacional Blue Shark in Praia on Tuesday, 5th December.

 

NEW LIST OF INVITED PLAYERS:

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Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC); Tochukwu Oluehi (Shualat Alsharqia FC, Saudi Arabia); Christiana Obia (Edo Queens)

 

Defenders: Osinachi Ohale (Pachuca FC, Mexico); Glory Edet (FCF TP Mazembe, DR Congo); Rihanat Kasali (Bayelsa Queens); Oluwatosin Demehin (Stade de Reims, France); Akudo Ogbonna (Remo Stars Ladies); Rofiat Imuran (Stade de Reims, France)

 

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Midfielders: Motunrayo Ezekiel (Rivers Angels); Esther Onyenezide (FC Robo Queens); Peace Efih (Sporting Club de Braga, Portugal); Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid FC, Spain); Deborah Abiodun (University of Pittsburgh, USA); Toni Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain); Chioma Olise (Edo Queens)

 

Forwards: Omorinsola Babajide (Coasta Adeje Tenerife Egatesa, Spain); Chiamaka Chukwu (Rivers Angels); Esther Okoronkwo (Coasta Adeje Tenerife Egatesa, Spain); Uchenna Kanu (Racing Louisville, USA); Gift Monday (Coasta Adeje Tenerife Egatesa, Spain)

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.

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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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WOMEN'S FOOTBALL

Dominican Republic 2024:Flamingos land in the Dominican Republic!

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Nigeria’s U17 girls, Flamingos, have secured their ticket to the 8th FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals to be staged in the Dominican Republic later this year, after a 2-0 defeat of their Liberian counterparts at the MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Friday.

Victory took the aggregate tally to 6-1 in favour of Nigeria, with extraordinary poacher Harmony Chidi setting a record of 13 goals in a qualifying series that will be difficult to equal in years to come. She had 11 goals before kick-off, but netted the two goals of the evening to take Nigeria’s total of the series to a whopping 25. Central African Republic fell by a dozen goals while Burkina Faso fell 1-7 on aggregate.

Her first came after only four minutes when she sped past the Liberian defence to toe-poke the ball beyond the flailing arms of goalkeeper Makula Konneh from a cross by Shakirat Moshood.

A goal feast was expected, but this did not happen, as Peace Effiong had a close call in the 17th and Moshood rocked the crossbar a minute after from 20 yards. Moshood also missed from close range with 10 minutes left of the first half.

In the 56th minute, Moshood blasted beyond the goalpost when faced with Konneh, but Harmony Chidi made sure of her brace seven minutes later when she lashed the ball beyond Konneh’s reach as Nigeria seized the ball from a defensive slip-up by the visitors.

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The 8th FIFA U17 Women’s World Cup finals will be staged in the cities of Santiago de los Caballeros and Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, 16th October – 3rd November.

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