NKWOCHA ITCHING TO SETTLE SCORES WITH EQUATORIAL GUINEA
Super Falcons' goal queen, Perpetua Nkwocha, is itching for an opportunity to face titleholders, Equatorial Guinea at the ongoing African Women Championship (AWC) in South Africa.
Nkwocha, who slotted two out of the three goals scored by Nigeria against Tanzania on Sunday evening, told Daily Sunsports that she would be highly fulfilled at the championship if she ever got the chance to confront the defending champions in one of the semi-final matches billed for Thursday.
Falcons, it would be recalled, lost 1-0 to Equatorial Guinea in the semi-final of the 2008 edition of AWC in a controversial circumstances.
With seven goals to her credit so far in the ongoing tournament, the Sunna SK of Sweden striker said she would be happy to hit her 15-goal target at the championship while in a game with Equatorial Guinea.
“I want an opportunity to meet with Equatorial Guinea because I have not forgotten what they did to us two years ago in their homeland,' Perpetua began.
“We are now on a neutral ground in South Africa and it would be appropriate for me to actualise my 15-goal target by punishing Equatorial Guinea for the hurt they did to us in 2008.
“We have been having fun at the ongoing championship and we are really poised to reclaim the title we lost at the last edition. I have not seen any team that will be a stumbling block to our ambition. There is no obstacle on the way as far as I can see.'
Nkwocha went further to shed light on her substitution in the 73rd minute of the game against Tanzania, insisting that she is fit for the semi-final game on Thursday.
“I was substituted in the match against Tanzania but not because of a major injury. I pulled a hamstring in the second half of the match and in order not to aggravate it, the coach called for my substitution.
“I am rearing to go for the semi-final match and it would be a good outing once more for me.'
Meanwhile, Super Falcons' Coach, Uche Eucharia, is optimistic of grabbing a final ticket at the ongoing AWC. Her countenance was noted while speaking on the backdrop of her wards' 3-0 drubbing of the hapless Tanzanian side at the Tembisa Stadium in Makhulong on Sunday evening.
The pioneer member of the Nigerian senior women team, who has made history as the only woman coach in the 2010 AWC, waxed lyrical on her readiness to face whichever country that would be unfortunate to meet Falcons at the semi-final of the championship in South Africa.
“Honestly, I am highly impressed with the level of my girls' performance so far. They have kept improving with each game despite the lapses occasioned by the changes in weather,' Coach Uche said.
“When I selected the team for this competition, I made sure I mixed the old with the young players by including some of the girls that represented Nigeria at the recent past Under-20 and Under-17 championships. So, I have a strong squad that can face any side and I have yet to see any team that will pose a problem to the Super Falcons of Nigeria.'
On Nigeria's 3-0 win over Tanzania, Uche declared that she was happy with the outcome of that match, where her squad picked the maximum points. She, however, waved aside the comments by Tanzania Coach, Charles Boniface that Falcons were lucky to have escaped an onslaught from his girls.
“His (Coach Boniface) submission that Tanzania had chances but could not translate them into goals does not hold water because in football, all that matters is scoring goals. I believe that he made that comment to console himself and his team. It is either you score or you are scored against,' Uche argued.
“Tanzania is a very young team, which only made its first appearance at the ongoing tournament. I believe the team has a bright future ahead if the girls would be kept together. But by the way, the Tanzanians must have understood even before meeting us that they were no match to the Super Falcons of Nigeria,” Coach Uche boasted.