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S’Falcons Ready To Take On France

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African champions Nigeria did what they needed to do by throwing all they had into the game to defeat Korea Republic 2-0 on Wednesday and earn their first three points of the 8thFIFA Women’s World Cup.
In the event, the Super Falcons set the stage for a fierce encounter with host nation France, today as they look to reach the knockout rounds for the first time in 20 years.
Having lost 0-3 to Norway in their first match and realizing they could be heading back home after the group phase, the Falcons opted for a spritely approach against the Koreans. But Captain Desire Oparanozie wasted a great opportunity in the 8th minute when presented with a simple header from a pull-out from Ngozi Ebere. She nodded straight at the Korean goalkeeper.
Perhaps the most inspired decision for the game by Nigeria’s Coach Thomas Dennerby was starting former junior international Chiamaka Nnadozie in goal and sending Tochukwu Oluehi, so jittery against Norway, to the bench. The 18 year –old goaltender simply continued from where she left off at the 2018 FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup also hosted by France, where she drew some rave reviews.
She cuddled and punched with good judgment, used her long limbs marvelously and stood between the Asians and any goal in the game. Her competence and confidence enabled the Falcons to push forward in search of goals.
After Korean defender Kim Do Yong misdirected a forward thrust by midfielder Rita Chikwelu past her goalkeeper for Nigeria’s first goal in the 29th minute, the Falcons’ spirit soared and they bossed the game for large periods.
Nigeria could have made it two four minutes after the restart, but Oparanozie’s header from a floated free kick by left back Ngozi Ebere went narrowly over the woodworks.
At the back, Nigeria kept things tight against the faster Koreans, with Onome Ebi, appearing at her fifth World Cup, Osinachi Ohale, Ebere and Chidinma Okeke throwing everything in there.
Rita Chikwelu, Ngozi Okobi, and Chinaza Uchendu worked hard in the middle. But it was the intelligent right back Okeke, another performer from the 2018 FIFA Women’s World Cup, who got her touches right to send Asisat Oshoala to nick the second goal for Nigeria with 15 minutes left.

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… As Coach Expresses Optimism To Qualify For 2026 W’Cup

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Newly appointed Super Eagles coach Finidi George has set his sights firmly on securing qualification for the 2026 World Cup, demanding unwavering commitment from his top players as the team aims to get their faltering qualifying campaign back on track.
Unveiled to the media in Abuja on Monday, Finidi, who succeeded the outgoing Portuguese coach Jose Peseiro, wasted no time in laying out his immediate priorities, two crucial 2026 World Cup qualifiers against South Africa and Benin early next month.
“Nigeria comes first, that’s what I expect from every player I invite. You have to be playing in your club, and you must have the commitment,” Finidi told reporters on Monday.
Recognising the importance of a strong start, the former Ajax winger emphasised the significance of the upcoming clash against South Africa.
“The first targets are to qualify for the World Cup and AFCON (Africa Cup of Nations), and a win over South Africa will set the tone.”
Nigeria currently finds itself in third place in their qualifying group, with just two points from as many games, while South Africa sits second with three points.
Finidi, who has signed a year’s contract with an option for an additional year, acknowledged the immense pressure that comes with leading the national team of a country with over 200 million people.
However, he exuded confidence in his ability to withstand the scrutiny, stating, “I have a tough skin.”
While his salary remains undisclosed, the 53-year-old coach expressed a willingness to prioritise performance over immediate financial rewards.
“The salary is good enough for me, it’s not as much as that of (Jose) Peseiro.
“Money is good, but if you add value to what you do, the money will come. Then they can come and ask ‘Coach, how much do you want?” Finidi said.

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I’m Not Under Pressure, I’ve Tough Skin – Finidi

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New Super Eagles Coach, Finidi George, has underlined that the word pressure is not in his dictionary and appealed for support from key stakeholders including the media.
Speaking after his unveiling yesterday in Abuja, the former Enyimba of Aba coach said; “In life you cannot be afraid. As you see me here, I am a quiet person but I’m not afraid of anything. The worst you can get in football is not getting the result, the best you can get is winning all the time, and I will try my best to make sure that the team functions properly and we start winning games.”
On whether is under pressure to justify his appointment, the coach stressed; “Pressure, I don’t think I have it. I have that tough skin and I want to plead you guys, the media we need your support.
“What is in the contract is boldly written, what the NFF wants and Nigeria in general, but for me personally my first target is to make sure we are in line to qualify for the World Cup. AFCON qualifiers definitely will be coming up soon, but the major step for me is these two games that we have.
“If we can win against South Africa and Benin, we will set the tone.”
During the unveiling ceremony, the NFF confirmed that ex-Super Eagles striker; Daniel Amokachi and Abiden Baruwa will be the assistant coach and goalkeeper coach respectively.
The first assignment for Finidi, who won the Champions League with Ajax in 1995, is to qualify for the 2026 World Cup.

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Amusan Becomes World’s Fastest Woman, Sets New Track Record

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Nigerian sprint icon Tobi Amusan has become the world’s fastest woman in the women’s 100m hurdles after running a world-leading 12.40 seconds.
In a thrilling race, the world record holder secured the victory, leaving behind Danielle Williams, the world champion, who clocked her best time of the season at 12.46 seconds. Following closely was American Christina Clemons, claiming the third spot with a time of 12.54 seconds.
This triumph means the Nigerian athlete has now claimed the top spot globally, surpassing American Tonea Marshall’s previous record of 12.42 seconds set in late April.
Tobi Amusan’s impressive win arrives just two months before the Paris 2024 Olympics, setting the stage for an exciting competition ahead.
John Enoh, the minister of sports development, on his X handle congratulated Amusan over the feat.
Take your flowers Tobi Amusan, you stormed to an emphatic win in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, clocking a time of 12.40s (0.9), a World Lead time!
You defeated World Champion Danielle Williams, who came 2nd in 12.46s, while Christina Clemons.
“Take your flowers Tobi Amusan, you stormed to an emphatic win in the women’s 100m hurdles at the Jamaica Athletics Invitational, clocking a time of 12.40s (0.9), a World Lead time! You defeated World Champion Danielle Williams, who came 2nd in 12.46s, while Christina Clemons was 3rd in 12.54s,” he wrote.
“Tobi, you keep making our country proud. Paris Olympics is around the corner, your performance gives us hope just like others, that Nigeria is set to break a jinx. Keep soaring, we are proud of you.”

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