By Amaechi Agbo
After accomplishing their first target of a ticket to the FIFA World Cup, Nigeria’s next target is to retain the Women AFCON title by beating South Africa in Accra on Saturday, says Head Coach, Thomas Dennerby.
The Swede tactician was on his feet for most of the semi final against the Indomitable Lionesses of Cameroon in Accra on Tuesday, which exhausted the statutory regulation and extra time and then went into penalty shoot –out before the Cup holders inched past their bitter rivals into the final and a place in France.
He said at the post-match conference: “When we arrived in Ghana, we made it clear our first target was the ticket to the World Cup, and after that, retaining the trophy. Now, we have achieved our first target. On Saturday, we have the opportunity of achieving our second target. We will go in there and give it our best shot and take the trophy back to Nigeria.
“Sincerely, I was not happy with our performance in the first 20 minutes of the match. We lost the ball too many times; we were too anxious and the defenders and midfielders couldn’t contribute to the attack. However, the positive from this tournament is our defence is very good. We have a compact team and that is why we made it today. Going to the World Cup, we need to improve the way we attack. We need to create chances and make the best use of the opportunities that come our way.”
Super Falcons were second best in the game with the Cameroonians having the better part of possession and the goalkeeper coming to the Falcons’ rescue on several occasions.
Many football fans have questioned coach Dennerby’s tactics and called for a new local coach to restore the falcons playing style and confidence of Nigerians in them.
The Super Falcons lost her opening match in Group B 0-1 to South Africa, defeated Zambia 4-0 and thrashed Equatorial Guinea 6-0 in to place 2nd in the group behind South Africa. However, the laboured against the Indomitable Lionesses and could not create goal-scoring chances after 120 minutes of play.
The Super Falcons will take on the Banyana Banyana of South Africa in the Final of the 11th Women Africa Cup of Nations at the Accra Sports Stadium on Saturday, starting from 5pm.