African champions Nigeria are set to return to the country on Wednesday after finishing third at an invitational tournament in China, as part of their preparations for this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup finals in France. The Super Falcons recovered from a 0-3 set-back to host nation China to thrash Romania 4-1 in Sunday’s third place match at the Huitang Stadium in Meizhou.
Skipper Rita Chikwelu got a brace, as defender Onome Ebi and forward Ini-Abasi Umotong weighed in with a goal each for a rout, after the Romanians had threatened to assert some power by cancelling out Chikwelu’s 44th minute opener. Nearly 8,000 fans watched the encounter, which came hours before host China overpowered Korea Republic in the final to win the trophy in front of 17,999 spectators. Officials have confirmed to thenff.com that the Falcons will immediately start preparations for the Cyprus Women’s Cup, which will hold in Turkey 25th February – 7th March.
Head coach Thomas Dennerby named a 20-woman squad comprising of three goalkeepers, six defenders, four midfielders and seven strikers for the invitational event leaving out Asisat Oshoala and Desire Oparanozie.
The Super Falcons delegation made up of 16 players and nine officials left the country via an Egyptian airline from the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja for the four-nation competition. They are expected at the same airport for arrival.