Randy Waldrum recently released the list of players to prosecute the February invitational tournament for the Super Falcons.
Hosts Mexico, Nigeria, Costa Rica and Colombia are the participating teams at the tournament in the State of Guanajuato, with matches between 15th – 21st February, and with the objective of preparing the contestants for the 9th FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Below are my key observations on this list.
It is good to see the inclusion of the following players in the list:
– Esther Okoronkwo: a personal favorite of mine; a very versatile striker cum attacking midfielder whose presence was sorely missed in the Afcon.
– Yewande Balogun: a goalkeeper itching to make her long awaited meaningful debut for the Super Falcons. Although accomplished in US women’s college football, the 33 year old gloveswoman remains untested in Super Falcons colours.
– Jennifer Echegini: the nimble feet attacking midfielder, who should learn to release the ball early, is pushing for a place in Nigeria’s world cup squad. To me, her chances her slim with a full house Super Falcons squad. But I pray she makes the final cut as she has so much guile and trickery on her day.
The following evergreen, everpresent players will need to bring all their years of experience to bear for Nigeria in the coming months:
– Onome Ebi
– Osinachi Ohale
– Halimat Ayinde
– Ngozi Okobi
– and Feansisca Ordega.
Asisat Oshoala, on her part, is long overdue to produce a compelling performance for the Super Falcons. In club football she remains hotter than the waters of Kalamazu. But her effectiveness for the Nigeria has waned in recent times (in part due to injuries).
All in all it looks like a balanced squad that can support different tactical formations. Based on the 4-3-3 arrangement that Waldrum predominantly used in the Afcon, I will go with the following players:
THE FULL SQUAD FOR MEXICO INVITATIONAL TOURNAMENT
Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Yewande Balogun (AS Saint-Etienne, France)
Defenders: Onome Ebi (Levante Las Planas (Spain); Osinachi Ohale (Deportivo Alaves, Spain); Ashleigh Plumptre (Leicester City, England); Glory Ogbonna (ALG Spor, Turkey); Rofiat Imuran (Stade de Reims, France); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash, USA); Oluwatosin Demehin (Stade de Reims, France); Akudo Ogbonna (Rivers Angels)
Midfielders: Halimatu Ayinde (FC Rosengard, Sweden); Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene (Eskilstuna United, Sweden); Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Toni Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain); Jennifer Echegini (Florida State University, USA); Regina Otu (AS Saint-Etienne, France)
Forwards: Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona Femenin, Spain); Esther Okoronkwo (AS Saint-Etienne, France); Ifeoma Onumonu (NY/NJ Gotham FC, USA); Chinwendu Ihezuo (Rayadas Monterrey, Mexico); Francisca Ordega (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Uchenna Kanu (Tigres Femenil, Mexico)
That’s all she wrote 🙂