Obaseki hails Falconets’ 5-1 victory over Morocco
• South Africa plots Nigeria’s fall
The Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has hailed Nigeria’s under-20 female football team, the Falconets on their 5-1 victory over Morocco on Saturday at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin City, the Edo State capital .
The match is the second leg of the France 2018 U-20 Women World Cup qualifier, and came after the Falconets recorded a 1-1 draw with the Moroccans on their home turf.
Residents of Benin City and environs trooped to the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium to cheer the girls to victory, defying the Saturday heavy downpour in the city, after the state government announced that no gate fee would be required to watch the match.
Reacting to the game, Governor Obaseki said the girls lived up to the expectations of Edo people and Nigerians, as they reinforced the belief that Edo State is a victory ground for national football teams.
According to him, “The Falconets have shown, once again, that we are doing the right thing in throwing our weight behind them. They won their game against Tanzania on this turf and have repeated the feat, albeit resoundingly this time.”
He praised Rasheedat Ajibade and Reuben Charity, who grabbed two goals each with their exemplary skills, noting that the goal by Gift Monday helped to seal the game.
The governor said that the girls demonstrated an enviable style of play, which often dazzled their opponents, adding that their panache on the field as well as their determination, were impressive and should be emulated by every Nigerian whenever they are tasked to represent their country.
“I am impressed by how well the girls perform while representing the country. The Edo State Government provided them with the necessary support to win, but it was still dependent on the team to prove their mettle. They have made us proud with the win and we hope the trend continues,” Obaseki said.
Meanwhile, South Africans believe the final round of qualifiers will give them the chance to beat Nigeria in a competitive game.
The South Africans see Nigeria as an old enemy that has tormented all their national teams, which now stands between their women’s Under-20 team and a place in the Under-20 World Cup in France next year.
But Basetsana coach, Maude Khumalo told a local website that she is confident the stranglehold Nigeria has over South African teams will not hold them back in their quest to become only the country’s second women’s side to take part in the World Cup, after the Under-17 generation of 2010 competed in the global showpiece in Trinidad and Tobago.
Basetsana will go into the final round confident after they made light work of Burundi at Dobsonville Stadium on Saturday, thumping them 5-0 to reverse the 2-0 loss they suffered in Bujumbura earlier this month. Before that they had humbled Namibia 9-0 on aggregate.
“What I will tell you is that when you go out of the country, you don’t know what to expect,” Khumalo said.
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