Football

Tokyo 2020: Nigeria’s women seek Olympic football return

Nigeria women’s coach Thomas Dennerby has named 18 locally-based players in a 24-woman squad to face Algeria in their two-legged 2020 Olympic qualifier.

The established six overseas players, including Asisat Oshoala, Ngozi Okobi, Ngozi Ebere, Rasheedat Ajibade, Francisca Ordega and Oshinachi Ohale are all included as the Super Falcons seek to return to the Games after missing the 2012 and 2016 editions.

The entire local Super Falcons squad will play the first leg of the second-round qualifier on 28 August in Blida.

They will be joined by the six foreign-based stars for the reverse fixture in Lagos on 3 September.

Algeria beat Chad 3-1 on aggregate to reach this stage, while continental powerhouse Nigeria received a bye into the second round.

The winners will face Mali or Ivory Coast in the third round of the African qualifiers for the Tokyo Games.

The West Africans went out of the 2000 and 2008 Olympics football events at the group stage, but reached the quarter-finals of the Athens Games in 2004.

Nine-time continental champions Nigeria are the only African team to have played in all of Fifa’s eight Women’s World Cup tournaments since 1991, but they have failed to translate their continental dominance on the world stage.

Their best performance at the World Cup came when reaching the quarter-finals in 1999.

Nigeria squad:

Goalkeepers: Tochukwu Oluehi, Christy Ohiaeraku.

Defenders: Oshinachi Ohale, Ngozi Ebere, Glory Ogbonna, Emenayo Ugochi, Margaret Etim, Ibe Adedemi, Blessing Edoho, Maryam Ibrahim.

Midfielders: Ngozi Okobi, Osas Igbinovia, Amarachi Okoronkwo, Cecilia Nku, Regina Otu, Goodness Onyebuchi.

Forwards: Asisat Oshoala, Rasheedat Ajibade, Francisca Ordega, Alice Ogebe, Nneka Joy Eke, Rafiat Sule, Ejalonibu Adejoke, Philip Lola.

 

 

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