By Albert Akota
Acting President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Chief Mike Okeke Umeh yesterday challenged the U-20 Women National Team, Falconets, to go all out in Edmonton, Canada today and earn a first ever win over England in the history of the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup.
Both previous clashes between Nigeria and England at the championship have ended in 1-1 draws, first in Coquimbo, Chile on November 22, 2008 and then in Augsburg, Germany on July 14, 2010. Both were group phase matches.
It is another group phase match at the Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton on Wednesday, with Nigeria in need of a draw and England needing to win to be sure of a place in the knock out rounds.
With four points from their first two matches, the Falconets lead Group C and will earn a place in the quarter finals with a draw against the England squad.
“I am happy with the performance of our girls in their matches against Mexico and Korea Republic, even though there are areas in which they need to improve. They must improve on those areas to be able to beat a crack side like England.
“The NFF believes the girls are well motivated and I have the assurance of the technical crew that they will go all out for a win,” Umeh said in Abuja.
On Monday, Chairman of the NFF Technical Committee, Chief Felix Anyansi-Agwu arrived in Edmonton, and his arrival hugely boosted the morale of players and officials as they look forward to the encounter with England.
“The players and their coaches are in very high spirits. They are not only thinking of beating England, but going all the way to claim the trophy. I believe it is possible,” Anyansi-Agwu, perhaps the most successful club manager in Nigeria football history, said on phone from Canada.