Morocco 2022: Coach Waldrum recalls Okobi, Alozie for Nigeria, Ivory Coast clash as Super Falcons resume camping in Abuja

By Harry Awurumibe,  Editor -in -Chief,  Abuja

Hold It…Super Falcons defender Michelle Alozie (No.22) and her teammate try to block Team USA attacker from scoring against Nigeria during the Summer Series in Texas last year.

Ahead of the crucial two-legged Africa Women’s Cup of Nations (AWCON) ‘Morocco 2022’ qualifier matches between Nigeria’s Super Falcons and La Elephants of Cote d Ivoire billed for February, Head Coach Randy Waldrum has invited a total of 35 players to the Abuja camp of the team including the usual suspects, Captain Asisat Lamina Oshoala of FC Barcelona Feminine; goalkeeper Yewande Balogun who plays for amateur team in United States of America (USA) and two veteran defenders Osinachi Marvis Ohale of Deportivo Alaves, Spain and Onome Ebi of Minsk FC, Belarus.

Also, Waldrum recalled two players who played in the better forgotten Aisha Buhari Invitational Tournament which was won by the Banyana Banyana of South Africa right in Lagos last year. They are experienced midfielder Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene of Eskilstuna FC, Sweden and youthful defender, Michelle Alozie who plays for Houston Dash in United States of America (USA).

Super Falcons goalkeepers. .(L-R) Chiamaka Nnadozie, Toochukwu Oluehi and Yewande Balogun.

The American-born Super Falcons gaffer however kept faith with a handful of Nigeria’s domestic women’s football leaque players including Joy Duru (Nasarawa Amazons); Akudo Ogbonna (Edo Queens); Vivian Ikechukwu (Rivers Angels); Gift Monday (FC Robo Queens); Juliet Bassey (Bayelsa Queens); Amarachi Okoronkwo (Nasarawa Amazons); Deborah Abiodun (Rivers Angels); Rofiat Imuran (Rivers Angels); Glory Ogbonna (Edo Queens)

and Grace Igboamalu (Nasarawa Amazons).
According to a statement from Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) the Super Falcons and the La Elephants first leg encounter is expected to take place at the regrassed MKO Abiola National Stadium, Abuja on Friday, February 18 with the return leg at the Stade Robert Champroux in Abidjan on Wednesday, February 23, 2022.

To reach this stage, nine-time African champions Nigeria edged the Black Queens of Ghana 2-1 on aggregate in October 2021, while the La Elephants blew away their counterparts from the Niger Republic 20-0 on aggregate.

Head Coach Randy Waldrum

Waldrum and his team are expected to grind out a  comfortable result at home when the Elephants come marching to avoid being trampled upon in the return leg in Abidjan as the Ivoirens are hard nut to crack at home. All invited players are expected to arrive Abuja on Tuesday, February 1 for a weeks close camping to enable the coach pick 22 that will prosecute the two matches. The winner over two legs will qualify for Morocco 2022 during the Summer.


Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Tochukwu Oluehi (Maccabi Kishronot Hadera, Israel); Christy Ohiaeriaku (Sunshine Queens); Yewande Balogun (USA)

Defenders: Rofiat Imuran (Rivers Angels); Glory Ogbonna (Santa Teresa FC, Spain); Onome Ebi (Minsk FC, Belarus); Osinachi Ohale (Deportivo Alaves, Spain); Ayomide Ojo (Edo Queens); Ashleigh Plumptre (Leicester City, England); Joy Duru (Nasarawa Amazons); Nicole Payne (West Virginia University, USA); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash, USA); Akudo Ogbonna (Edo Queens)

Midfielders: Peace Efih (Kiryat Gat, Israel); Yetunde Aluko (WFC Ramat Hasharon, Israel); Amanda Mbadinuju (Bayelsa Queens); Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene (Eskilstuna FC, Sweden); Grace Igboamalu (Bayelsa Queens); Toni Oyedupe Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain); Regina Otu (Minsk FC, Belarus); Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Rita Chikwelu (Madrid CFF, Spain); Amarachi Okoronkwo (Nasarawa Amazons); Deborah Abiodun (Rivers Angels)

Forwards: Esther Okoronkwo (AS Saint Etienne, France); Francisca Ordega (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Desire Oparanozie (Dijon FC, France); Vivian Ikechukwu (Rivers Angels); Gift Monday (FC Robo Queens); Juliet Bassey (Bayelsa Queens); Ifeoma Onumonu (NY/NJ Gotham FC, USA); Uchenne Kanu (Tigres Femenil, Mexico); Asisat Oshoala (FC Barcelona, Spain). 

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