By Harry Awurumibe
With less than 24 hours before the crucial first match between Nigeria and Norway in the 8th FIFA Women’s World Cup final in France, Super Falcons attacker, Chinwendu Veronica Ihezuo has declared war on Nigeria’s opponents in today’s Group A match, Norway.
Ihezuo who plays her club football in China has promised the Norwegians a hard time when they come up against the African Champions, Nigeria in Reims, France even as she has predicted a difficult encounter going by the pedigree of the Scandinavian country in world football.
She disclosed that the Super Falcons are aware of the threat Norway poses in the competition but the Nigerians are battle-ready to give their opponents a good a fight and with luck on their side they will get a good result in the crunch match against Norway.
“We (Super Falcons) have worked hard enough to beat Norway today. They are beatable and we are going into the game with the mindset that we will win the game. In football anything is possible”, she said.
Ihezuo who graduated to the senior women’s team after playing for Nigeria at the FIFA U- 17 and U-20 Women’s World Cup finals in the past however called on Nigerians at home and diasporas to rally round the team to do well in France.
Said she, “I use this medium to urge Nigerians to support us (Super Falcons) and to pray for us and I am sure we will not disappoint them. Our hard work will show with their support and prayers”.
Meanwhile, Nigeria will need to be get a favourable result against Norway today in Reims after host, France hammered South Korea 4-0 in the opening game yesterday at Parc de Prince in Paris because any misadventure against the Norwegians will see Nigeria walk a tight rope going into the second match with the wounded South Koreans in Grenoble on June 12.
For this reason, Nigeria’s Head Coach, Thomas Dennerby and his assistants will have to instruct their players to go into dog fight with the more illustrious Norway, a country that has once won the FIFA Women’s World Cup trophy in 1995 in Sweden and had on the way to winning the cup walloped Nigeria 8-0 at Indrostat Stadion in Karlstad in the Group match. Norway has also finished in the 2nd in 1991 and 4th place in 1999 and 2007 respectively
Luckily, the Nigerian team now has a Scandinavian tactician who himself has taken Sweden senior women’s team to the Third-place finish in the FIFA Women’s World Cup and he understands the enormity of the assignment and will use his experience to grind out victory or Norway today.