Oshoala, Oparanozie to Star for Falcons in Cyprus Cup


Barcelona Femeni of Spain attacker, Asisat Oshoala and Guingamp of France striker, Desire Oparanozie are both back in Nigeria’s female national team, Super Falcons for the trip to Cyprus for another build-up competition towards the 2019 FIFA Women’s Worlds Cup.

Oshoala and Oparanozie alongside Ngozi Ebere missed the Falcons’ trip to China for a similar contest last month, but footballlive.ng gathered that they will be part of the Falcons’ squad that will depart Nigeria through Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Sunday.

They will be joined by a former junior international, Uchenna Kanu, who is now a student in the United States, with ex-U-20 team, Falconets’ goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie also listed along with Tochukwu Oluehi.

Defenders for the trip include Onome Ebi, Osinachi Ohale, Faith Michael and Glory Ogbonna, along with midfielders Rita Chikwelu, Ngozi Okobi, Amarachi Okoronkwo and Halimatu Ayinde as well as forwards Ini-Abasi Umotong, Chinwendu Ihezuo, Rasheedat Ajibade and Francisca Ordega.

The players and officials are scheduled to arrive in Abuja on Friday, with the team getting training sessions in the evening of same day, as well as on Saturday and Sunday morning before departure by Egypt Air.

The delegation will sleep in Cairo on Sunday and arrive in Larnaca on Monday and settle down for the commencement of action two days later in a competition that is billed to have three groups.

The Falcons are billed to make the trip to take part in the annual Cyprus Women’s Cup tournament which begins on Wednesday, 27th February in Larnaca, with two other African teams also expected to participate.

Falcons’ coach, Thomas Dennerby has already selected 24 players for the contest which will also have South Africa, Mexico, Finland, Cameroon, Belgium, Slovakia, Korea DPR, Czech Republic, Thailand, Hungary, Italy and Austria in attendance.

The Falcons’ first match is against Austria, on the evening of February 27, before further games against Slovakia March 1 and Belgium March 4, in the group phase.

Dennerby will hope that, unlike when they could only finish third in China, behind the host and South Korea, but ahead of Romania, that his side will make it to the Cyprus Cup final on March 6.