Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) president, Melvin Amaju Pinnick and second vice-president of the soccer governing body, Mallam Shehu Dikko both turned up to watch the female national team, Super Falcons in training, ahead of their second match of the FIFA Women’s World Cup.
The Falcons will battle South Korea on Wednesday in Grenoble, France, a fixture both sides need to win, after losing their opening games against France and Norway respectively, such that Pinnick and Dikko reckon the Nigerian ladies need all the motivation they can get for victory.
Pinnick, who watched the Falcons’ 3-0 loss to Norway on Saturday in Reims, alongside Dikko, NFF general-secretary, Dr Mohammed Sanusi and Nigeria Women Football League (NWFL) chairperson, Aisha Falode, charged the team to forget that defeat and plot a strategy that will see them extract three points off South Korea on Wednesday.
The NFF boss said he was happy to see the team fully settled into their Mercure Grenoble Centre President Hotel abode in the city of Grenoble, ahead of the make-or-break midweek clash with Korea.
Players and officials flew into Grenoble at 1pm on Sunday and arrived the hotel an hour later, in time for lunch, and all eyes and mind are now on the clash with Korea at Stade del Alpes.
Korea’s margin of defeat by France, who thumped them 4-0 at Parc des Princes in Paris in the opening match, means Nigeria is third in the pool, and being a 24 –team tournament, the African champions will be in good stead to reach the Round of 16 if they brush the Koreans aside.
Three points would put them in good stead to emerge among four best third placed teams after the group stage, while a good result against France during their last Group A game in Rennes on 17th June, would make their surge even better.
Both teams have the opportunity of playing their game and knowing where they stand before France take on Norway in Nice hours later, but Falcons’ coach, Thomas Dennerby is sweating over the fitness of Pitea IF of Sweden defender, Faith Michael ahead of Wednesday’s fixture.
Michael was again ruled out of training on Monday, as the team trained at Stade Eugène Thenard on Avenue du General de Charles Gaulle, after she was taken off against Norway in the 53rd minute after colliding with Falcons’ goalkeeper, Tochukwu Oluehi as she attempted to clear.
The 32-year-old Michael was involved only in a light session, as her place on Wednesday appears to be taken again by Chidinma Okeke, who went on in her stead against Norway and could now start versus South Korea.
As time passes by in a whirlwind, pitching the midweek clash closer than ever, the Falcons’ press crew took to social media on Tuesday to reveal that the players are in high spirit ahead of the game.
A message from the team’s media united stated: “@NGSuper_Falcons working hard in training today and fine tuning our programme ahead of tomorrow’s game against the Taeguk ladies.”