Nigeria ready to challenge for glory at Women’s World Cup 2023

Nigeria are set to make their ninth appearance at the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2023, hoping to improve on their best result of reaching the quarter-finals in 1999. The Super Falcons, who have dominated the African scene with 11 titles out of 14 editions of the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations, are eager to make an impact on the global stage.

Nigeria are coached by Randy Waldrum, a veteran manager who has been in charge since 2020. Waldrum has led the team to qualify for the World Cup as the top-ranked African nation, and has also overseen friendly wins over Haiti and New Zealand in the build-up to the tournament.

The Nigeria squad is a mix of experience and youth, with several players plying their trade in Europe’s top leagues. The star of the team is Asisat Oshoala, who plays for Barcelona and has won five African Women’s Footballer of the Year awards. Oshoala scored 21 goals in Spain’s Primera Division this season, and also netted Nigeria’s only goal at the last World Cup in France.

Other players to watch include Rasheedat Ajibade, who plays for Atletico Madrid and is a versatile attacker with pace and skill; Uchenna Kanu, who plays for Racing Louisville FC and is a prolific scorer at college level; and Onome Ebi, who is set to become the first African player to feature in six World Cups.

Nigeria are drawn in Group B, alongside Canada, co-hosts Australia and newcomers Republic of Ireland. The group is considered one of the toughest in the tournament, with Canada being the Olympic champions, Australia being the home favourites and Ireland being the surprise package.

Nigeria will kick off their campaign against Canada on Friday 21 July in Melbourne. The match will be a rematch of their previous encounters at the 1995 and 2011 editions, which ended in a 3-3 draw and a 1-0 win for Nigeria respectively. Nigeria will hope to repeat their success and start with a positive result.

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