By Femi Atolagbe
Nigeria will today (Monday) trade tackles against England in the knockout stage of the ongoing 2023 Women’s World Cup co- hosted by Australia and New Zealand.
The round of 16 encounter kicks off by 8:30 am between Super Falcons and Lionesses is slated for the 52,500 capacity Suncorp Stadium in Australia,the encounter will be the second time the two countries meet at the Women’s World showpiece.
They both met at the second edition of the World cup in 1995 where they were drawn into the same group. England defeated Nigeria 3-2 in their last group game , although, the result did not stop Super Falcons from progressing to the knockout stage as one of the best losers in the competition.
Since then, both teams have not had the opportunity to face each other again at all the previous editions of the World Cup until now, except in friendly matches.
The current squad will be looking to get revenge for their predecessors when they come up against the Lionesses this morning.
However, Super Falcons supporters were divided on the match against the Lionesses of England.
Sporting Hope in a chat with some followers of the 9th edition of the Women’s World Cup, said the falconers cannot defeat England while others were of the view, that the current squad can defeat their European opponent.
Karimu Oleleke said “England will beat us though, miracle can happen”.
He added that, “I do not see Nigeria getting a chance against England in the encounter, saying they are more organised, technically and tactically better than the Super Falcons.
“Football is not about emotions, when you are not up to it, you are not up to it.”
Ajileye Adekunle described the current Super Falcons as a team that can defeat any opponent, saying they are full of mixed young, energetic and experience players.
Adekunle added that majority of the squad are plying their trade in Europe adding that after 90 minutes, a winner will emerge from the two countries.
“Though, you can’t take the England pace and other quality away from them, but I see Falcons triumph against them”
Aluko Omotayo said: “As a Nigerian, I’m with Super Falcons, I watched all their previous matches and I’m not disappointed in their games, so, I see them flying above the lionesses in the cracker.”
” We should not underrate our players because of their colour, they have the character and capacity to make us proud.
He urged the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF to motivate the players very well to get the best from them, saying the ladies will defeat England with a promise of a well packaged welfare.