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AWC Final: Falcons invade Lionesses den for 8th crown

Super Falcons will this afternoon literally walk into the den of the Indomitable Lionesses in the final match of the 2016 Women’s Africa Cup of Nations at the  Stade Ahmadou Ahidjo in Yaoundé ,

Cameroon go into the tie, aiming to win their first title and also avenge their 2014 defeat by Nigeria, who have won the tournament seven times and are aiming for a record eight crown.

The Indomitable Lionesses lost 2-0 two years ago, and were also beaten by Nigeria in their other two appearances in the final.

That history perhaps adds extra pressure on Cameroon, who will be playing in front of their own fans in Yaounde, but they will take confidence into the match, having won all four of their games.

They also boast a defence that has yet to be breached in the tournament.

super-falcons

But they will be up against the tournament’s top scorers in Nigeria, who have 12 goals from their four matches. The Super Falcons also have a strong defence, having conceded only once – a penalty in their draw with Ghana.

It is set to be a fascinating battle and both sides go into the game at full strength, with no injury concerns.

The Indomitable Lionesses will be hoping their star player Gaelle Enganamouit ends her goal drought at the finals, while Nigeria will again look to six-goal tournament top scorer Asisat Oshoala to fire them in attack.

Cameroon coach Enow Ngachu is eager for his side to banish memories of two years ago, instead draw on their victory over Nigeria in the semi-finals of the African Games earlier this year on their way to the silver medal.

“When we went to Namibia our main target was to qualify for the 2015 Women’s World Cup and that meant finishing in the top three,” he said.

“I think that’s why we lost the final because everyone was excited that we had qualified for the World Cup for the first time and so it happened that we didn’t concentrate in the first 20 minutes.

“This time around the main objective is to win the cup.

“We said before the tournament we needed to win all five games. We have won four and we are going to do everything possible to win the fifth on Saturday.”

The  home crowd will look up to the leggy and lanky Gaelle Enganamouit for some magic. Incidentally, Enganamouit succeeded Asisat Oshoala as African Woman Player of the Year early this year.

His opposite number Florence Omagbemi knows what it takes to win the tournament having won it four times as captain in 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2004 and she is now determined to lift the trophy as a coach.

Omagbemi will also be desperate not to go down in history as part of the first Nigeria team to lose in the final – they have won all seven they have contested.

“I’m 100% sure (that we can win) that’s why we are here in Cameroon, we are here to defend our trophy that we won in Namibia in 2014,” she said. “I can say that mentally, physically, psychologically we are ready for the game on Saturday.

“It’s not the first time Nigeria are playing Cameroon and the players are used to the situation and some of them who played in the final against Namibia are still on the team and we have experienced players that can deal with any situation”

Omagbemi  can also count on the experienced quintet of Faith Ikidi, Onome Ebi, Francisca Ordega, Osinachi Ohale and captain Rita Chikwelu,  midfielders Ngozi Okobi, Halimat Ayinde and striker Desire Oparanozie.


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