Nigeria’s female national team, Super Falcons have another reason to go all for victory against Germany on Saturday, as they will be eager to win the FIFA Women’s World Cup round of 16 clash as splendid birthday gift for one of the squad’s youngest players, Uchenna Kanu.
The former Pesnacola FC striker, who now plays for South Eastern University of USA, clocked 20 on Thursday, the same day the Falcons got a ticket into the round of 16 at France 2019, following Chile’s inability to score more than two goals in their victory against Thailand.
That paved the way for Nigeria to get only their second ever round of 16 at the Female Mundial, and they now go for another piece of history with the chance to equal their best ever performance of a quarter-final ticket, which was achieved at USA ’99.
However, to do that, the Falcons will have to overcome Germany on Saturday in Grenoble, the same venue where they made history by beating South Korea 2-0 last week, for their fourth ever victory in the competition’s history, much to the delight of Kanu et al.
That was also the match in which back-up shot-stopper, Chiamaka Nnadozie set a record as the youngest goalkeeper to keep a clean sheet in the competition’s history, thus setting optimism high that returning to Grenoble could be a morale-booster to the Falcons’ search for victory on Saturday against Germany and give Kanu a befitting birthday present.
However, they tend to face a stiff test against Germany, who contested in Group B, defeated China and Spain by the odd goal before silencing South Africa 4-0, as they amassed nine points, which further confirmed their pedigree ahead of the Falcons as far as history is concerned.
Germany lashed the Falcons 4-0 in a group phase match at the maiden Women’s World Cup finals in China 28 years ago, and pipped Nigeria 1-0 in another group phase match at the edition they hosted eight years ago.
However, after qualifying for the round of 16 on the same day with Kanu’s birthday, the Falcons want to take another step forward, as the nine-time African champions say they will be Stade des Alpes to pull off a major upset in the annals of global women’s football.
Nigeria is a popular attraction in Grenoble, and their stock of goodwill is still thick as they return there to confront the Germans, with another mission to reward Kanu, who was discovered at the 2014 U-17 Women’s World Cup, then played at the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup and made her senior debut on 8 April 2019 in a 2-1 friendly loss to Canada.
The information department of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) led the charge in support of the buzzing attack, as they stated: “Happy Birthday, @NGSuper_Falcons forward, @Ucheofficial30. Have a good one babe!”