Underwhelming head coach of the Super Falcons of Nigeria Randy Waldrum is still seeking his first win against a highly rated team in the Fifa rankings as he unveiled his latest squad last week.
Nigeria will trade tackles and shots with Japan in a high profile women's friendly encounter slated for the 6th of October in Kobe, Japan.
It is an interesting squad that he has lined up for this eagerly anticipated duel against the former world champions. It returns fan favourites like Nnadozie, Toni Payne, Ashleigh Plumptre and Uchenna Kanu.
That said, notable exclusions include Nicole Payne, Esther Onyenezide, Onyi Echegini, Amaju Mbadi, Akudo Esther Ogbonna and Fransisca Ordega.
It is at least reassuring to see Waldrum and his sidekick Lauren Gregg experiment with a wide pool of players ahead of the world cup next summer.
One has wonder whether Desire Oparanozie will ever feature again for the Super Falcons having been continuously absent from the team since September last year. A number of fans still believe she can produce more compelling performances in place of the contentious Onumonu.
In any event, this team has enough steel, solidity and firepower to cause a huge upset against Japan.
Waldrum’s Super Falcons came close to defeating mighty Canada in their own backyard in April but in the end had to settle for a 2:2 draw.
Just this month they were close to finally halting a 23 year losing run to the United States with the match poised to end 1:1. But the Americans dipped into their vault of magic to tip the match in their favour with a slim 2:1 denouement.
In a year of near misses in friendlies, will this game against Japan be the game changer? Nigeria fans will hope so.
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