2018 Women’s AFCON: Nigeria coach optimistic of securing World Cup ticket

Author: Beatrice Laryea
Thomas Dennerby – Nigeria coach

Head coach of the Nigeria national senior female football team Thomas Dennerby says he remains optimistic that Nigeria would secure a ticket to the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France.

Coach Dennerby made the statement at a press conference ahead of the team’s second group game against Zambia on Wednesday at the Cape Coast Stadium.

According to him, after losing 0-1 loss to Bayana Bayana of South Africa in their Group B opener on Sunday, the Super Falcons, eight-time African Women’s Cup of Nations champions, are hoping for a victory against the Shepolopolo of Zambia who thrashed Equatorial Guniea 5-0 in their opening game.

“I remain optimistic, the aim has not changed and we are definitely securing a ticket to the World Cup in France. We hope to go all the way to the final in this tournament again and of course we need to win against Zambia,” he told the CAF media team ahead of the game.

For her part, captain of the side Onome Ebi said:  “It was a difficult result for us in the first game but we are putting that behind us. We learnt a lot from the game and we are working hard to make sure we put things in order and correct our mistakes against Zambia.”

Taking his turn to address the media, Head Coach of Zambia, Bruce Mwape said: “We won the opening game against Equatorial Guinea and that is now history. That is past and gone and it is water under the bridge. Our focus is on the next game against Nigeria.”

For Zambia midfielder Mary Mwakapila, their team was sure of victory against the Super Falcons saying: “Beating Equatorial Guinea is not the main target. We have come to make it to France, so we are going to do our best and also work as a team to make sure we beat Super Falcons and Banyana Banyana.”

The Zambians currently lead the Group B table with three points followed by the South Africans due to goal difference. Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea follow in that order.

Three top teams from the tournament will book tickets to the 2019 World Cup in France.