Onyenezide hopes to grab Falcons chance against Japan

Esther Onyenezide


Anthony Nlebem.

After her brilliant showing at the 2022 U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica, one of Nigeria’s emerging women’s footballers, Esther Onyenezide, is looking forward to grabbing her chance when the Super Falcons play Japan in an international friendly in Kobe.

The ousted African champions take on the former world champions on Thursday (today) hoping to get a first win against their more illustrious Asian opponents, and Onyenezide was called up along with another U-20 Women’s World Cup product Flourish Sebastine, who also had a fine outing in Costa Rica.

“I got the first invitation when we played in the US, but I did not play in the first and second legs. I feel so great making the Super Falcons squad. I was not expecting it, maybe the coach invited me because of my impact in the U20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.

“I am here (Japan) to learn, gain some experience. I can’t say if this is not my time, but I will put in everything I have when my time comes to play in every match.

“I am hoping to get to play against Japan and surely will give my best performance, like how I played at the U-20 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica, which gave me the opportunity to be in the Falcons squad. I will do better than what I did in Costa Rica.”

The 19-year-old scored three goals and guided the Falconets to the quarter-finals, where they lost to the Netherlands. She also spoke about her integration into the senior women’s team.

“They are so lovely, they took me like their own, and they did not treat me like I came from the U-20 team, but treated me as one of them.”

The match serves as a continuation of the Super Falcons’ preparations for the 2023 Women’s World Cup finals in Australia and New Zealand and comes just weeks after a two-match tour of the United States of America, in which they lost 4-0 and 2-1 to the US Women’s National Team.