Despite the withdrawal of some key players from the two-legged 2024 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Cape Verde, the Super Falcons remain optimistic about securing a favourable outcome against their opponents.
The Super Falcons will be in action for the first leg on Thursday at the MKO Abiola Stadium in Abuja before travelling to Praia for the second leg on 5 December.
While keeping his starting lineup under wraps, the interim Super Falcons coach, Justin Madugu, assured reporters in Abuja that his players are ready for the challenge and will undoubtedly deliver a ticket to Morocco next year.
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“All the players in camp are ready to go,” Madugu told reporters at Wednesday’s pre-match conference. “I won’t say this person or that person will start because anything can still happen before match time.”
Madugu echoed the importance of securing victories in both legs against Cape Verde.
“You don’t prepare for any game with the mindset that the result will not go your way,” he stated.
“You always expect to win, and that has always been our goal. We are planning to ensure we win both games against Cape Verde because that would help boost the confidence of the team, especially for the younger players coming into the team.”
With Cape Verde eliminating Liberia 6-2 on aggregate before setting up a date with Nigeria, one of the senior players in the current Super Falcons squad, Toni Payne, assured fans they would not underestimate their opponents.
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Payne reiterated that the Super Falcons are focused on securing their place at next year’s competition in Morocco.
“I haven’t heard much about them,” Payne told NFF TV. “They are a little bit unknown in terms of how they play. We will see some videos to know more about them.”
“We just build on what we normally do and focus on ourselves. Our way of playing is keeping the ball. We believe if we have the ball, it will be difficult for the opponent to score. We will try and stick to our plan and get a win.”
Meanwhile, the Confederation of African Football (CAF) has appointed Ghanaian official Ama Boateng-Nkansah as the referee for Thursday’s match in Abuja.
Boateng-Nkansah’s compatriots Doris Darko, Alice Chakule, and Barikisu Salifu will serve as assistant referee 1, assistant referee 2, and fourth official, respectively.
Oumou Sy from Guinea will be the commissioner, while Madeleine Somda from Burkina Faso will be the referee assessor.