2022 WACON:Wounded Falcons seek maximum points

-Ikenna Okafor

The Super Falcons of Nigeria understand that only an outright victory would placed them in a comfortable position when they face Botswana today. 

Botswana, on the other hand, find themselves in unfamiliar territory on top of Group C ahead of their fixture against the reigning African champions Nigeria in a much-anticipated encounter tonight at the 2022 TotalEnergies Women’s Africa Cup of Nations. 

The Mares come into this one looking to maintain their winning ways, though they will face a wounded Super Falcons outfit that is desperate to get some points onto their column on the table standings. 

Botswana head coach Gaoletlhoo Nkutlwisang said ahead of the match: “We fancy a good challenge. One thing for me as a coach, I want to play against the big coaches and for the team, we want to face the best. That motivates us so we will go out there and show who we are as Botswana.” 

Nigeria will be without poster girl and four-time African Player of the Year Asisat Oshoala, who has been ruled out of the tournament after suffering a Grade 2 Medial Collateral Ligament strain against South Africa on Monday. 

Randy Waldrum’s side lost their opening fixture against rivals South Africa 2-1 in a repeat of the 2018 edition opener – a game in which they were outplayed tactically and technically. 

For the American coach, “After the loss, we spent time with the players and regrouped and we are ready for this game. We are ready to get the job done.” 

If the FIFA rankings are anything to go by then Botswana are in for a David and Goliath matchup, but Nkutlwisang says “We are going to focus on ourselves and get ready to face whichever players Nigeria sends onto the pitch.”

Botswana are ranked 152nd in the world and 31st on the continent behind Nigeria who are ranked first on the continent and 39th in the world. 

The game will be played at Moulay Hassan in Rabat, Morocco at 9pm Nigerian time.

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