Canada 2014: Falconets go for S/Africa’s scalp

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Nigeria’s U-20 women team, nicknamed Falconets, will fly into Johannesburg today for their final leg of African qualifying series for the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, against South Africa’s U-20 women side, known as Basetsana.

Vice champions of the world in 2010, the Nigerian girls take a handy 6-0 advantage into Saturday’s return leg, due for the Dobsonville Stadium in Soweto – the venue where the U-20 boys of Nigeria, Flying Eagles, won the African Youth Championship in 2011.

On Tuesday, the Nigeria Football Federation notified the High Commission of Nigeria in South Africa about the arrival of the delegation, which will fly out of Lagos aboard a South African Airways airplane on Wednesday night.

An hour before the Falconets left for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Wednesday, on their way to Lagos, NFF President, Alhaji Aminu Maigari was at the team’s camp to commed players and officials for their excellent fighting spirit since the qualifying series began and charged them to conclude the series in emphatic fashion.

“I am delighted at the way you have taken the challenge of qualifying with steely resolve, and how you have not been shy to score a lot of goals in your matches. My humble self, the entire Executive Committee and Management of NFF and indeed, the Nigeria football family are proud of you.

“My charge to you, technical crew and players, is not relent at this stage. South Africa is a major power in African women football, so do not under-rate them. Even though we have a 6-0 advantage, we must play the return leg match as if it were the first leg,” Maigari urged.

Maigari, who also met with the U-17 girls, Flamingos, splashed the sum of one million naira (N1 million) on both teams to spur them ahead of coming challenges.

The U-17 girls are due to embark on a tour of four States of the Federation to play leading women clubs in the country, preparatory to their departure to Europe for final training camp ahead of the 4th FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup, taking place in Costa Rica between 15 March – 4 April.

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