Dar es Salaam. Nigeria’s U-20 national women’s soccer team coach, Christopher Danjuma, has unveiled a 30-member provisional squad for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying match against Tanzania.
The Tanzanite, as the national women’s youth team is popularly, are now undergoing intensive training Chamazi Complex on the outskirts of the city ahead of the qualifier set for September 16 in Abuja, Nigeria.
Reports from Abuja had it yesterday that Danjuma, who took charge of the Nigeria team, Falcons, last month, is assisted by Wemimo Matthew, Mansur Abdullahi and Abdul-lateef Yusuf.
According to fixtures released by the Confederation of African Football (Caf), two–time FIFA World Cup silver medalists Falconets will take on The Tanzanite on the weekend of 15-17 September, with the return leg in Dar es Salaam two weeks later.
The winners over both legs will then confront the winners of a fixture pairing Morocco against Senegal in November, before a final round of qualifying matches in January, next year.
The Falconets have played in every edition of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup, since it was launched as an U19 tournament in Canada 15 years ago.
The team reached the quarter finals in Thailand 2004, Russia 2006 and Chile 2008, before finishing as runners –up at the 2010 finals in Germany and at the 2014 finals in Canada.
They reached the semi-finals in Japan in 2012, but failed to reach the knockout stage in Papua New Guinea last year.
The Tanzanite head coach, Sebastian Nkoma, admitted yesterday that Falcons are among the most feared women’s youth outfits in Africa, but remained optimistic that the September 16 clash will produce positive results for his side.
Nkoma says he optimistic his team can upset the formbook in the Nigerian capital and beat the hosts.
He said his players were aware that The Falcons will have home advantage and that they will be seeking a home win so as to have one foot in the next stage of the qualifiers.
“It is a match we must win to remain in contention for a place in next year’s FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup finals,” he said.
“I just want the entire nation to focus on the game. It is a winnable game, we have what it takes to shine in Abuja,” he insisted confidently.
Players making up the Falcons squad include Monle Omini (Abia Angels), Tola Adeniyi (Sunshine Queens), Chioma Okoye (Sa’adatu Amazons), Nelly Ekeh (Pelican Stars), Blessing Ezekiel (Rivers Angels), Margaret Etim (Delta Queens), Oluwakemi Famuditi (Confluence Queens), Gloria Ogbonna (Ibom Angels), Joy Duru (Nasarawa Amazons) and Feyintola Mabokanje (FC Robo Queens).