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France 2019: Profiling Super Falcons World Cup Opponents

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As we draw ever close to the start of the FIFA Women’s World cup slated for France from the 7th of June to the 7th of July, 24 teams will vie to be the best of them all. Africa’s number one female team, Nigeria‘s Super Falcons will be Africa’s flag bearer alongside the Banyana Banyana of South Africa and Cameroon.

The Super Falcons have been ever-present since the inception of the FIFA women’s world and this year’s edition will make it the 8th time the team will participate in the competition alongside big names like Brazil, Germany, Sweden etc all who have been featured in all edition of the competition.

In this write up we take a look at the group stage opponents drawn against Nigeria ahead of the opening game in June. Nigeria are drawn against hosts France, Norway and South Korea.

France

Nickname: Les Blues

Appearance: 4th

Last Appearance: 2015

Best Performance: 4th 2011

Coach: Corinne Diacre

Star: Eugene le Sommer (Lyon)

The hosts are one of the top female football sides in the world but only rose to that level recently, the Blues failed to qualify for the initial three FIFA women’s World Cup edition before their debut at USA 2003 only to fail to qualify for the China 2007 edition but have been ever-present since then.

Continentally, the French are yet to grace the last four of the Euros women’s championship despite featuring 6 times. Being the hosts this time around, coupled with their recent exploits at the youth levels a lot is expected from them.

The last time Nigeria played France in the French country it ended in an 8-0 thrashing, thus Thomas Dennerby and his team have a lot to do if they are to be a pose any threat to the hosts.

 

Norway

Nickname: The Grasshoppers

Appearance: 8th

Last Appearance: 2015

Best Performance: Winners 1995

Coach: Martin Sjögren

Star: Ada Hegerberg (Olympique Lyon)

Norway are one of the most successful female national teams in the world, The Grasshoppers as they are fondly called, are former European champions winning the women’s Euros twice in 1987 and 1993, World champions in 1995 as well as Olympics Gold medalists at Sydney 2000 and Bronze medalists at Atlanta 1996.

However, since the turn of the century, the European country have dropped in quality and have struggled to live up to previous billings, finishing the last world cup in Canada 2015 in R16, the 2017 Euros at the group stages while also failing to qualify for the last two summer Olympic games.

Nonetheless, with various players playing at top female club sides across the world, including 2018 Balon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg, the Scandinavians have more than enough to trouble Onomi Ebi and her defence line.

 

South Korea

Nickname: Taegeuk Ladies

Appearance: 3rd

Last Appearance: 2015

Best Performance: R1 2015

Coach: Yoon Deok-yeo

Star: Ji So yon (Chelsea)

Just like the French, the South Koreans do not have an illustrious pedigree or history, the closest they have ever gone towards winning a silverware is a third-place finish at the Asian Championship in Thailand 2003.

The team has a majority of its players in the K-league with Chelsea’s Ji son Yon holding the country’s goalscoring record with 53 goals in 113 appearances.

The Asians are the most likely team which the Super Falcons can scrape off three points from but it is not as easy as it sounds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Daniel is a passionate lover of Nigerian football. Follows local football and the national teams religiously. Aside from writing, he also does Sports analysis on Radio. Write to me on danycrusoe@gmail.com or follow me on twitter@danycrusoe95

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