Ebere Ngozi (L) in aerial battle with a Banyana Banyana last Wednesday
Ex-Super Falcons coach Ismaila Mabo has expressed disappointment Nigeria failed to reach the final of the African Women’s Championship.
On Wednesday in Bata, South Africa piped the Falcons 1-0 as Nigeria failed for the second time to reach the AWC final.
Mabo insisted Thursday that the Falcons have no excuses for falling to Banyana Banyana as they had all the support needed to do well.
"I am disappointed that Falcons could not beat South Africa to reach the final, same way all Nigerians will feel,” said Mabo.
“This team have no reasons to fail because they had all they asked of and NFF even tripled their bonuses. They just failed to lift their game and allowed South Africa to break a jinx of not beating Nigeria.”
He told MTNFootball.com he saw this coming because other countries have been working hard at developing women’s football.
"I saw this coming a long time because we have not been planning for long term. South African have been working hard to beat us because they know if they can do that, they will rule Africa. During the 2008 Olympic qualifier when I was in charge, we were leading 2-0 in Pretoria and they came back to level 2-2. It was very tough to beat them 1-0 in Abuja to go through,” he recalled.
“This failure in Malabo could have been averted had it been NFF looked into Jossy Lad's report after Equatorial Guinea beat Falcon in the semi-final to dethrone us. They would have seen his recommendation.
“We all know Kadiri Ikhana is a good coach, how he impacts the knowledge on his players is what I don't know because I wasn't there. The girls just failed to do well."
He said Falcons now do not hold a fear factor to other African teams.
"It’s just like the Super Eagles, every team in Africa didn't want to play Eagles, but now that is in the past. No matter how small a team are, they boast that they will beat Eagles. Falcons are in that situation now,” he said.
Equatorial Guinea beat us in 2008, now South Africa have done it, every team will come at them with the belief they can win."
The Falcons will now face Cameroon in the losers’ final, while hosts Equatorial Guinea will be gunning for a second championship after their first triumph also as hosts four years ago.