Head Coach of the Nigeria women U-20 team, Christopher Danjuma, has reiterated his confidence in his team to defeat Tanzania in this weekend’s First Round first leg of the France 2018 qualifier, which will be played at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City.
The Falconets crashed out at the group stage in the last FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea despite their rich pedigree after finishing runners-up in 2010 and 2014, and also quarter finalists in 2004, 2006 and 2008, and the semi-finalists in 2012.
Danjuma inherited a few players from the Nigeria’s U-17 squad that participated at the global championship in 2016 in Jordan.
The new make-up of the Falconets now have the like of Rasheedat Ajibade, Cynthia Aku, Oluwakemi Famuditi, Joy Duru; Gloria Ogbonna amongst others.
The Falconets boss is equally confident the experienced players would add quality to his side as they play on Saturday.
“We have players who participated in the last FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup and a few others who are still within the age brackets from the last U-20 World Cup,” he told CAFonline.com.
“I believe their experience, coupled with the good training we have had in Abuja before coming to Benin City for Saturday’s match would certainly give us the edge against Tanzania.”
Danjuma who once coached the Super Falcons on an interim capacity after replacing Edwin Okon in 2015, stated he hoped to secure a healthy first leg advantage ahead of the return leg.
“We have told the girls how important it is for us to win very well on Saturday. The good thing is that Nigeria remains one of the strongest teams at this level and we hope to continue with the same tradition of winning our matches come Saturday,” he affirmed.
Tanzania hosts the return leg in a fortnight in Dar-es-Salaam with the aggregate winner facing either Morocco or Senegal at the penultimate round.
Two teams will emerge from the African qualifiers to represent the continent at the FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup scheduled for 7-26 August 2018 in France.