2023 FWWC: I ‘m ready for Super Falcons Top No.9 Challenge, Says Red-hot Aku

BY Harry Awurumibe, Africa’s No. 1 Women Football Journalist

My Ball. ..Red–hot striker, Cynthia Aku outmuscles an opponent in a Super League match in Turkey. She has scored 10 goals this season.

As the Super Falcons get set to use next month’s Revelation Cup Tournament billed for Leon, Mexico City, to shape up for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup final in Australia and New Zealand, red-hot Nigerian striker Cynthia Onyedikachi Aku has said she is ready to fight for the No.9 shirt.

Aku, 23, who is one of the hottest Nigerian female strikers in the top European women’s football leaques presently with 10 goals in 10 matches for her Turkish club, Ataşehir Belediyespor in 2022-23 season, said that she wants the Super Falcons  coach, Randy Waldrum to give her a chance to show the quality that has made her one of the best in the league.
Speaking to Prompt News (a sister publication), from her base in Turkey, the former junior international who played in two FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup final in 2014 and 2016 in Jordan alongside goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie and attacking midfielder Rasheedat Ajibade, said she is ready to lead the Super Falcons attack in Australia and New Zealand if the coach will give her the opportunity to fight for a spot in the team.
Said she: “I have what it takes to hold down the No.9 shirt in the Super Falcons.  I have acquired more experience since moving from the Nigeria Women’s Football League (NWFL) to Turkey Super League in 2022 even as I know that my FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup experiences on two occasions have equipped me well to play for the senior women’s team.
“Again, I have my first experience of Super Falcons in 2019 as a member of the WAFU B team which former coach Thomas Dennerby took to Cote d Ivoire. I played well and won the Woman of the Match Award after scoring two goals in Nigeria’s record 15-0 bashing of Niger. I believe am now more matured to play for Super Falcons”.
The ex-Flamingos and Falconets player who was stopped by injury prior to the 2018 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup final in France was an important player of Rivers Angels FC of Port Harcourt where she won many trophies before joining Delta Queens of Asaba briefly and later moving to Turkey in the beginning of 2022 to join the Istanbul-based club Kireçburnu Spor to play in the 2021-22 Turkish Women’s Football Super League.
On October 14,  2022, Aku transferred to her present club, Ataşehir Belediyespor for the 2022-23 Women’s Super League season. She has since established herself in the club and has been hanging in goals for the team.
Aside scoring a double digit goals this season, Aku who has just returned from ill-health featured for 45 minutes on Sunday in the Coach Taner Öner led Turkish Women’s Super League club tie between Antalya vs Ataşehir Belediye Spor away draw.

Super Falcons

Prompt News reports the nine-time African Champions will play their first game of the  tournament against hosts Mexico starting at 4pm Mexico time (10pm Nigeria time) on Wednesday, February 15, three hours after the opening match between Costa Rica and Colombia.

On Saturday, February 18, the Falcons will be up against Colombia at 1pm Mexico time (7pm Nigeria time), before Costa Rica square up against the host nation.
Costa Rica will be Nigeria’s last opponents, both teams locking horns as from 5pm Mexico time (11pm Nigeria time) on Tuesday, February 21, before hosts Mexico and Colombia draw the curtain on the four-nation tourney.
Head coach, Waldrum has already called up 23 players for the February’s Revelation Cup Tournament in Leon, Mexico City, with Captain Onome Ebi;  Spain-based forward Asisat Oshoala; long-time number one goalkeeper Chiamaka Nnadozie and 33 year-old Yewande Balogun, an Assistant Coach with UC Davis women’s soccer club in California, United States, as the second goalkeeper of Super Falcons of Nigeria.


Goalkeepers: Chiamaka Nnadozie (Paris FC, France); Yewande Balogun (AS Saint-Etienne, France)

Defenders: Onome Ebi (Levante Las Planas (Spain); Osinachi Ohale (Deportivo Alaves, Spain); Ashleigh Plumptre (Leicester City, England); Glory Ogbonna (ALG Spor, Turkey); Rofiat Imuran (Stade de Reims, France); Michelle Alozie (Houston Dash, USA); Oluwatosin Demehin (Stade de Reims, France); Akudo Ogbonna (Rivers Angels).

Midfielders: Halimatu Ayinde (FC Rosengard, Sweden); Christy Ucheibe (SL Benfica, Portugal); Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene (Eskilstuna United, Sweden); Rasheedat Ajibade (Atletico Madrid, Spain); Toni Payne (Sevilla FC, Spain); Jennifer Echegini (Florida State University, USA); Regina Otu (AS Saint-Etienne, France).

Forwards: Asisat Oshoala (Barcelona Femenin, Spain); Esther Okoronkwo (AS Saint-Etienne, France); Ifeoma Onumonu (NY/NJ Gotham FC, USA); Chinwendu Ihezuo (Rayadas Monterrey, Mexico); Francisca Ordega (CSKA Moscow, Russia); Uchenna Kanu (Tigres Femenil, Mexico)

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