The nine-time winners remain the favourites to triumph at the most significant international women’s football competition on the continent
Nigeria and Tigres UANL forward Uchenna Kanu has tipped the Super Falcons to beat all comers and retain their crown at the 2022 TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations in Morocco.
The Falcons claimed their record-extending 9th AWCON title at the last edition at Ghana 2018, beating arch-nemesis South Africa in the final.
Already a youth international at the time, Kanu was an amateur with Florida-based Southeastern Fire about to turn professional.
After spells at Sevilla, Linköpings FC, and Mexico’s UANL Tigres, as well as scoring twelve international goals in only six appearances, Kanu has become a key player for the Super Falcons.
Kanu’s two most recent goals handed Nigeria a 2-1 aggregate win over perennial foes Ghana in October during qualification for the AWCON.
And the 24-year-old forward is already looking to help the reigning African champions retain the title despite an expected stiff challenge from South Africa, Cameroon, Zambia, and host Morocco, among others.
“There is huge growth among African teams, they are been tougher to match up with Nigeria, so the Super Falcons need to focus on making sure no team gets to our level,” Kanu told Cafonline.
“I think the team is good and going well. We need to work on building team chemistry and make sure the Super Falcons remain the best. We need to work on maintaining that standard.
“We just need to train and focus on the things to get better at. The chances of Nigeria winning WAFCON is very high. I believe in the team because we have a good squad, we are prepared and I’m hopeful.
“It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be tough because other teams are getting better. We won’t have to just sit on that, but we have a good team and we are definitely going to win.”
The 14th edition of the AWCON, which also doubles as the African qualifiers to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, will run from July 2nd to 23rd.
The top four teams at the tournament will qualify for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand, and two more teams will advance to the inter-confederation play-offs.
Nigeria have never missed any edition of the World Cup since it was first installed in 1991.