WAFU Women’s Tourney final: Nigeria targets victory against Cote d'Ivoire

Author: Beatrice Laryea, Abidjan Courtesy: M&C Group
Evelyn Nwabuoku (left) granting an interview to Beatrice Laryea

Captain of the Nigerian national senior women’s football team, Evelyn Nwabuoku is confident her side will come out victorious against Cote d’Ivoire in the final of the 2019 WAFU Women’s Tournament on Saturday, May 18 at the Stade Robert Champroux in Abidjan.

Last year, the Super Falcons won bronze at the competition but they returned stronger this year to defeat their arch-rivals, Black Queens 4-2 on penalties in their semi-final encounter last Thursday to qualify for the final while Cote d’Ivoire also battered Mali 2-1 to make it.

The two rivals set up a semis clash for the second successive year after Ghana finished second in Group A with seven points while Nigeria topped Group B with nine points.

The Super Falcons, nine-time African champions, have been impressive in the tournament so far, having scored 22 goals in the group stages and conceded just one.

Ahead of the final match, the Rivers State FC player, in an exclusive interview with Graphic Sports Online on Friday, noted that expectations were high back at home adding they were not ready to disappoint Nigerians.

“As Nigerians we know that they always expect us to win and we know we are playing against the host nation and they are going to have the whole country backing them but we are determined that we will give it our best shot and hopefully, by the special grace of God we will win the trophy,” she said.

“After our semi-final game against Ghana, our coach congratulated us and told us to go for the last lap. He told us to be confident and to believe in ourselves because everything is achievable. So we are promising Nigerians that we will win the trophy,” assured the 33-year-old player.

Commenting on their opponents she said: “We know that the Ivorians are not pushovers. They are a very tough side, especially when you look at their physic but in football anything is possible so we are sure to win.”

She believes Nigeria has been successful on the continent over the years due to their women’s league. “We have been consistent in Africa and one thing that has worked for us over the years is that we have a very strong league which produces quality players each year. So that has really helped us to be successful in Africa.”

The third place match between Ghana and Mali will be played today at the same venue ahead of the final tie.