The Super Falcons are soar-away favourites tonight to eliminate their counterparts from Algeria and reach the next round of the African qualifying series for next year’s Olympics Women Football Tournament.
The nine-time African champions thumped their hosts 2-0 in the first leg in Blida last week Wednesday and look to quickly shut the door against the North Africans at the return leg at the Agege Stadium, Lagos today in order to start focusing on the second round of the series against either Cote d’Ivoire or Mali.
Mali, who host Tuesday’s return leg in Bamako, lost 0-3 to the Ivorians in Abidjan last week and have a mountain to surmount against the visitors, whose game has been steadily improving over the years.
An own goal by an Algerian defender and a second half strike by midfielder Amarachi Okoronkwo gave the Falcons the robust lead ahead of the home leg.
Head Coach Thomas Dennerby has even a stronger pack to choose from, with six foreign –based professionals having joined the squad for the return leg, led by FC Barcelona of Spain’s Asisat Oshoala. There are also defenders Ngozi Ebere and Osinachi Ohale, midfielder Ngozi Okobi and forwards Rasheedat Ajibade and Francisca Ordega.
World football-ruling body, FIFA has appointed Zomadre Kore from Cote d’Ivoire to be the referee.
Her compatriots Lou Ta (assistant referee 1), Denise Akoua (assistant referee 2) and Fatoumata Kra (fourth official) will join her on the assignment.
Ghanaian Emmanuella Aglago will serve as referee assessor and Cameroonian Souadatou Kalkaba will be match commissioner.