Nigeria’s Super Falcons are 90-minute away from booking a final berth in the 2018 Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) as they face the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon in the semi-final on Tuesday at the Accra Sports Stadium.
Nigeria qualified to the knockout stages of the competition after a slow start, where the team lost their opening fixture 1-0 to South Africa before bouncing back to winning ways by beating Zambia 4-0 and Equatorial Guinea 6-0.
On the other hand, Cameroon defeated Mali 2-1 in their opening fixture before mauling Algeria 3-0 and drawing 1-1 against Ghana to qualify for the semi-final stage of the bi-annual competition.
Interestingly, the Indomitable Lionesses will be meeting the Super Falcons for the 12th time and are desperate to avoid a 10th loss following back-to-back AWCON final defeats.
Nigeria beat the Indomitable Lionesses twice in the 2014 and 2016 AWCON showpiece hosted by Namibia and Cameroon respectively, and in 2012 the Super Falcons lost 1-0 in the third-place playoff.
However, African Women’s Footballer of the Year, Asisat Oshoala, says the Super Falcons are fully aware that Cameroon will be difficult opponents when both teams face off in the semifinal of AWCON on Tuesday.
”We all know Cameroon is going to be a very difficult game obviously, they are a very good side, difficult side to play,” Oshoala said.
”We’ve met Cameroon three times; we’ve beaten them in the semifinals and finals. So, it is going to be a difficult game for us on Tuesday. We all know about that.
”We want to thank the Federation, the President of Nigeria, we want to thank Nigerians and everyone who has been making sure the camp has been in order so far in terms of players’ bonuses and everything.
”Everything is in order in the camp. So, I think come Tuesday everyone is ready to give one hundred per cent.”
Meanwhile, Cameroon coach, Joseph Brain, believes the team will upset defending champions, Nigeria, in their AWCON semi-final tie in Accra on Tuesday
“In 2016, I wasn’t the coach of the team but I was a Cameroonian. So, I saw everything,” Brain said at a pre-match conference on Tuesday in Accra.
“You don’t need to be in the team to know what happened or what transpired. Once you’re part of football, you ought to understand what happened on that day. We want revenge. We want to avenge past pains they cost us.
“Now, we have players who understand the game, learnt a lot over the years. A lot of mistakes were made in the past. These are some of the mistakes we will make sure we correct them before going into this battle and also do something extraordinary.
“We know Nigeria is a force to reckon with in women’s football in Africa. And now that they have won nine times against us, it tells a lot but one-day things will change.
“We have been playing here (Accra) and the atmosphere has been good for us. Concerning our preparation for this match, it is not different from other previous ones we’ve played. We are hopeful. So, I don’t think anything will change. Hopefully (on Tuesday), we will do our best.”