Falcons Charged To Beat France

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As the German 2011 FIFA Women World Cup kicks off this weekend, one time assistant coach of Nigeria’s Super Falconets, Rolandson Odeh, has charged the Super Falcons to beat the French national team in their first match of the tournament scheduled for Sunday.

Odeh told P.M.Sports that for the Nigerian ladies to make it beyond the group stage at the mundial, they must beat France. According to him, victory over the French team would not only instill confidence in the team, but also put them in good stead for the rest of the group matches.

“I expect the Falcons to take the French side to the cleaners. They must not only win the tie, but win with a good scoreline, so that they will be able to make a statement and send jitters down the spine of other opponents in the group,” he said.

“For the fact that it is their first match and having just arrived from a four-week training camp, the Falcons need to showcase the strategies, which the technical crew, led by Uche Eucharia have impacted on them. They should also make their fans back home happy.

“If we are to judge with pedigree, the French side are the weakest side in the group, hence Falcons are expected to beat France on Sunday,” Odeh said.

He also stated that the team’s coaches have no excuse not to go far in the World Cup considering the long period of time they were given to put the ladies together; the extensive training camp in Saalfelden, Austria and the various tune-up matches they played ahead of the mundial.

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“The Nigerian team had the best preparation of any Nigerian team at FIFA Women World Cup. The Falcons parade talented players, both younger and experienced ones. I see no reason they should not go beyond the quarter final (their best performance at the World Cup) and make the country proud,” he said.

After Sunday’s tie against France at the Sinsheim Stadium, the Falcons will play Germany, the hosts in Frankfurt on Thursday, 30 June and round off their group matches against Canada in Dresden on 5 July.

The Super Falcons have been at all previous FIFA Women World Cup Tournaments in China ’91, Sweden ’95, USA ’99, ’03 and China in 2007.

—Bamidele Olowosagba