The two national women’s teams will be at the Mundial later in the year, but they face each other in this preparatory match
Super Falcons will trade tackles with Haiti on Thursday at the Emirhan Sport Center Stadium in Turkey in preparation for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand later in July.
This is the first of the Falcons’ two friendly matches scheduled for this April as the focus gradually shifts towards the ninth edition of the Women’s World Cup.
Nigeria have qualified for every edition of the Mundial, reaching the quarterfinals in 1999 and impressing four years ago in France.
The 11-time African champions are the most successful side on the continent. They would ordinarily be the heavy favourites against a Haiti side that are going to the World Cup for the first time in the country’s history.
But the Falcons are not in the best shape, with their recent victory over Costa Rica ending a run of seven consecutive defeats in all competitions.
While the Nigerian ladies have struggled, their Haitian counterparts are enjoying their most successful period ever.
Aside from booking a ticket to a historic appearance at Australia and New Zealand 2023, Haiti have proven their mettle against notable oppositions.
The CONCACAF representatives have won nine of their last 13 games, defeating Senegal, Chile, and Costa Rica in the process.
That win over Senegal would boost confidence for Le Rouge et Bleu when facing another African foe in Turkey.
On their day, though, the Super Falcons are a difficult team to tame.
Head coach Randy Waldrum welcomes China-based Desire Oparanozie from a 4-year shutout in the national team, and the forward could return to partner exciting Barcelona star Asisat Oshoala.
Atletico Madrid attacker Rasheedat Ajibade is in the form of her life after scoring four goals in her last six games.
Talented youngster Jennifer Onyi Echegini has also been invited, and it will be fantastic to see her back on the pitch after her mesmerising display in the Falcons’ win over Costa Rica.
Overall, there are talents all over the pitch for Randy Waldrum to deploy and it is about time to start getting the best out of the team before the first whistle goes off at the World Cup.
Competition: Friendly match
Game: Nigeria vs. Haiti
Venue: Emirhan Sport Center Stadium
Date: Thursday, April 7, 2023
Kickoff time: 3 pm (Nigerian time)