NFF General Secretary, Dr. Mohammed Sanusi has called on the country’s U-20 Women’s Team, Falconets, to fight hard for the 2016 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup ticket when taking on South Africa’s Basetsana in Johannesburg on Sunday.
The African qualifying final round fixture between both countries is delicately poised after the Falconets won the first leg 2-1 in Abuja, meaning Sunday’s clash at the Makhulong Stadium in Tembisa, on the suburbs of South Africa’s commercial and industrial capital, will be explosive.
Sanusi, who is with the Falconets in South Africa, said on Saturday that the reigning world vice champions must fight hard from the first blast of the whistle till the end.
“You must go out there on Sunday to prove that Nigeria’s pedigree in women’s football is no fluke. South Africa also invests big in women’s football and recently qualified for next year’s Olympics. But the truth is no African country has achieved what Nigeria has achieved in the women’s game.
“As reigning world vice champions, we must go out and prove out superiority on the field tomorrow. The ticket to Papua New Guinea is a must, because Nigerians back home are expecting you to book your flight to that country for the final tournament.”
The Falconets take on the Basetsana from 3pm South African time (2pm Nigeria time) on Sunday, and Coach Peter Dedevbo says his girls will approach it like a ‘Cup final.’
“The result from the first leg is in the past, and we don’t dwell in the past. On Sunday, our objective is to go all out and grab the World Cup ticket.”
NFF President Amaju Pinnick, who is with the U-17 boys that are seeking a fifth FIFA World Cup title in Chile (against Mali also on Sunday), has also called on phone to ginger the Falconets to do Nigeria proud in South Africa.
The Falconets have never failed to qualify for the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup since it was launched in Canada 13 years ago, with two runner –up positions (2010 and 2014), fourth –place finish in 2012 and quarter –final berths in Thailand (2004), Russia (2006) and Chile (2008).