By Albert Akota
The Chief Coach of the Super Falcons Edwin Okon has announced his list of 18 players that will face Rwanda in the first leg of the African Women Championship (AWC) qualifier in Kigali on May 24.
The squad made up of 16 home-based players and 2 overseas-based stars are expected to battle in the first leg encounter at the Kigali Stadium, Rwanda.
The six-time African champions defeated the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon 1-0 through Asisat Oshoala’s late goal in a preparatory friendly match on April 29 in Abuja.
According to a statement made available to newsmen by the team’s media officer, Gracious Akujobi, only the duo of Onome Ebi and Desire Oparanozie amongst eight foreign based professionals earlier invited completed the list of 18.
Surprising names on the list are the captain of the Flamingoes at the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, Chiwendu Ihezuo and the Falconets pair of Asisat Oshoala and Yetunde Adeboyejo.
Notable faces missing in the team are Gloria Ofoegbu, Lilian Cole, Uchechi Sunday and Glory Iroka.
The chairperson of Nigeria’s Women Football League Board, Dili Onyedinma will lead the 29-person delegation that will comprise eighteen players, four coaches and six officials.
The team will depart the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja yesterday afternoon aboard an Ethiopian airline flight to Addis-Ababa before connecting a flight to Kigali.
The winners of this round will proceed to the African Women Championship which will be held in Namibia from October 11 to 24.
This year’s African Women Championship will serve as the qualifier for the 2015 Fifa Women’s World Cup in Canada.
The full squad:
Goalkeepers: Precious Dede (Ibom Angels, Nigeria), Ibubeleye Whyte (Rivers Angels, Nigeria)
Defenders: Onome Ebi (Minsk, Belarus), Blessing Edoho (Pelican Stars, Nigeria), Ngozi Ebere (Rivers Angels, Nigeria), Mariam Ibrahim (Nasarawa Amazons, Nigeria), Josephine Chukwunonye (Rivers Angels, Nigeria)
Midfielders: Evelyn Nwabuoku (Rivers Angels, Nigeria), Onyinyechi Ohadugha (Rivers Angels, Nigeria), Ngozi Okobi (Delta Queens, Nigeria), Asisat Oshoala (Rivers Angels, Nigeria) Cecilia Nku (Rivers Angels, Nigeria)
Strikers: Desire Oparanozie (Ataşehir Belediyespor, Turkey), Chiwendu Ihezuo (Pelican Stars, Nigeria), Yetunde Adeboyejo (Bayelsa Queens, Nigeria), Chioma Wogu (Confluence Queens, Nigeria), Stella Mbachu (Rivers Angels, Nigeria), Esther Sunday (Pelican Stars, Nigeria)