Falconets head coach Christopher Danjuma is confident of Nigeria winning their opening game against France at the 2022 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals in San Jose on Thursday.
Speaking ahead of Thursday cracker, Danjuma says Two-time runners-up and one-time semi-finalists Falconets are mentally prepared to take on France in this year’s U20 Women’s World Cup campaign.
“The World Cup stage is about players’ mentality; we have prepared the team very well in that area. You have to go out there, aim to be the best and work hard to be the best. I believe that these girls will do Nigeria proud,” Danjuma said.
“It will not be easy but we have what is known as the special ‘Nigeria spirit’ and we will go in there with confidence and belief in what we can do. We will play to our strengths – firm at the back and clinical at the fore.”
“Playing seven matches in the African qualifying series toughened the team very well, and we have also worked on their psyche. Nigeria has never been at this level. Having reached the final twice and made the semi-finals once, the Falconets have pedigree in this championship. We cannot afford to falter. We will take it one match at a time, beginning with the game against France.”
Danjuma, who also led the Falconets to the last tournament in France four years ago, where they lost to Spain 1-2 in the quarter-finals, is banking on the experience of Captain and central defender Oluwatosin Demehin, the lively midfield orchestra of Esther Onyenezide, Deborah Abiodun and Adoo Yina, and the forward line of Flourish Sabastine, Mercy Idoko and Joy Jerry.
Falconets’ first choice Monle Oyono is expected to be in goal against the French side, with wingbacks Omowunmi Oshobukola and Jumoke Alani also favoured to retain their places.
Falconets hit 11 goals past the Central African Republic in the second round of the African qualifying series. Spanked Republic of Congo 4-0 in Brazzaville, and then routed Cameroon 3-0 on aggregate in the fourth round.