Nigeria will defend Women’s AFCON title – Asisat Oshoala

Author: Beatrice Laryea
Asisat Oshoala – Confident of Nigeria’s success

Nigeria’s star attacker Asisat Ashabi Oshoala says her side has no competitor in the upcoming Total Women’s Africa Cup of Nations which starts in Ghana from Saturday, November 11 to December 1, expressing confidence in the team to conquer Africa once more.

Speaking in an interview on Wednesday evening after the Super Falcons touched down at the Kotoko International Airport, the reigning Africa Women’s Footballer of the Year noted that Nigeria was ready to successfully defend the title they won two years ago.

“Every time you see Nigeria you know there is no other competitor. We are here to win the trophy. We are here to make our nation proud once more because the girls are ready to give out 100 per cent every time and I think we are in good shape.”

“We will try to fight to give off our best because we hope to win again. It will be one game at a time but yeah we hope to win again. The girls are ready 100 per cent and you can see they are highly spirited,” said Oshoala who completed the 2016 edition of the competition as top scorer with six goals.


The team arrived on Wednesday

Commenting on the pressure to deliver at this year’s tournament she said: “I have been to this stage severally so there’s no pressure on me. I am just being me because it’s just a normal game. We will play football and just have fun.”

Ashoala, 24, has given a new definition to striking in women’s football on the African continent taking the number one spot in the heart of many football fans. 

The former Liverpool and Arsenal Ladies forward was a tormentor for defenders around the penalty area and she grabbed a brace in her side’s 6-0 battering of Gambia to seal the Super Falcon’s qualification for Ghana 2018.


Shots from the team's arrival

Four years ago, she was the top goal scorer with seven goals at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women's World Cup in Canada and was deservedly crowned as the Best Player at the championship.

That same year, she won her first AFCON title with the Super Falcons and was later in the year named best Women’s Player and Best Youth Player on the continent.

The three-time African Women’s Player of the Year now plies her trade with the Chinese Women's Super League side Dalian Quanjian FC where she scored 10 goals in 14 matches to help Dalian Quanjian FC win their third title in a row.

This is her second league title in China after she joined Dalian Quanjian from Arsenal Ladies in February 2017.

Confirmed Nigeria squad (21 players):

Goalkeepers: Tochukwu Oluehi and Chiamaka Nnadozie (Rivers Angels); Christy Ohiaeriaku (Confluence Queens)

Defenders: Glory Ogbonna (Ibom Angels); Sarah Nnodim (Nasarawa Amazons); Ngozi Ebere (Barcelona FC, Cyprus); Faith Michael (Pitea IF, Sweden); Onome Ebi (Henan Huisanhang, China); Osinachi Ohale (Vaxjo DFF, Sweden); Josephine Chukwunonye (Asarum AIF, Sweden)

Midfielders: Amarachi Okoronkwo (Nasarawa Amazons); Ngozi Okobi (Eskiltuna UTD, Sweden); Rita Chikwelu (Krstianstand DFF, Sweden); Halimat Ayinde (Asarum AIF, Sweden)

Forwards: Anam Imo (Nasarawa Amazons); Rasheedat Ajibade (FC Robo Queens); Asisat Oshoala (Dalian Quanjian, China); Francisca Ordega (Washington Spirit, USA); Desire Oparanozie (En Avant Guingamp, France); Chinaza Uchendu (SC Braga, Portugal); Chinwendu Ihezuo (Biik Kazygurt, Kazakhstan)

Head Coach: Thomas Dennerby