Super Falcons will face stiff test of character tonight when they line up against hosts Morocco’s Lionesses in the second semi final of the ongoing 2022 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Rabat. Kick off is 9pm inside the Complexe Prince Moulay Abdellah.
With the pedigree of the defending champions in the continental football showpiece, this clash ought not to raise any fears for Falcons. Since the competition was launched as a biennial event in Nigeria 24 years ago, Super Falcons have won it nine times and now gunning for a 10th title.
Morocco’s Lionesses on the other hand came into the tournament as minnows with no title yet to show. In the opening match of the inaugural edition of the Women AFCON in Nigeria, the Super Falcons lashed the Lionesses 8-0.
The Falcons have also gone ahead to win nine titles in 11 finals before Morocco 2022, have taken part in all editions of the FIFA Women’s World Cup in addition to playing in three editions of the Olympic Women’s Football Tournament, and have become a global brand.
However, on the evidence of their performance at the Aisha Buhari Women’s Football Tournament that Nigeria hosted in September last year and their run at this championship, the Lionesses do not deserve to be treated with kid gloves.
Coach Reynald Pedros will bank on the deft touches and dribbling skills of Fatima Tagnaout on the left side of the pitch, as well as the courageous and lethal Sanaâ Mssoudy at the fore. The Super Falcons must be wary of these two players especially.
On his part, Coach Randy Waldrum could start with an energetic attacking line comprising of three-goal Rasheedat Ajibade, Uchenna Kanu and Francisca Ordega, with the nifty Gift Monday also a possibility. Christy Ucheibe, Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene and Halimat Ayinde should retain their places in the middle, with Captain Onome Ebi leading a rearguard that will shield goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie.
Before the Nigeria versus Morocco clash, South Africa’s Banyana Banyana and Zambia’s Copper Queens will play the first semi final at the Complexe Mohamed V in Casablanca as from 6pm.
Zambia v South Africa 6pm
Nigeria v Morocco 9pm