Coach Bala Nikyu of the national under-17 women team on Monday in Abuja said his team was ready for the 2014 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup in Costa Rica.
Nikyu made the assertion on the strength of his team’s 3-0 defeat of their Ghanaian counterparts on Sunday in an international friendly at the Abuja National Stadium.
The match played at the stadium’s FIFA Goal Project pitch is the first leg of a double-legged friendly between the two countries.
The matches are to prepare both teams for the Women’s World Cup scheduled for March 15 to April 4, where Nigeria are already grouped alongside Mexico, Colombia and China.
Speaking on the team’s state of preparedness, Nikyu said there was already an improvement in the team compared to its performance in the last three weeks.
“The match was a trial game and there was an improvement on what we had in the past three weeks, even though we have not gotten to where we want.
“So, we (the team’s coaching crew) are hoping that by the end of February we would have gotten what we want.
“But, as far as I am concerned, we already have a World Cup team that we will work with for a month and a half now before the tournament starts,” he said.
The coach however noted that the only challenge the team had presently was “for the players to grow faster in their learning rate”.
On the meeting with Ghana, Nikyu said the team would not underrate the Ghanaian team in the return leg match.
“Any team that qualifies for the World Cup should not be underrated, and you never can tell because, after this game, they can go back and stabilise to step up their game.