• We’ll retain our trophy –Omagbemi
•Title is ours on home soil – Lioness coach
BY JUDITH NWABIA
AS the Africa Women Cup of Nations kicks off this weekend, Nigeria and host Cameroon are locked in a war of words over who wins the trophy this time around.
While Super Falcons coach Florence Omagbemi has declared that her team is in Cameroon for the trophy and nothing less, coach of the Indomitable Lioness, Enow Ngachu is optimistic his side has what it takes to win the title on home soil.
Despite being the most successful team in the tournament having won the cup nine times out of eleven with a lot expected of them as defending champions, the Falcons have said that they are not under pressure but will not make the mistake of underrating any opposition.
“Though as the defending champions, a lot is expected from us, I don’t see it as a pressure because every team coming to Cameroon would want to have a go at us but we know remaining at the top is never going to be easy,” Omagbemi told Cafonline.
Cameroon on their part, have their eyes fixed on lifting the title in front of their home fans.
Cameroon coach Enow Ngachu told Cafonline.com that he has a team that had improved massively over the last few years.
“In 2012, we finished third; 2014 we finished second. Now we are in 2016. What next? Finishing first of course! I believe in the ability of my girls and I know definitely this year, adding to the advantage that we are playing at home we have some very good chance,” he said.
“There has been massive improvement in the team and definitely we expect to do better. There are still a few things to do before the tournament and I believe we will firm up to be 100% ready,” the tactician added.
Apart from reaching the semi-finals in the last two tournaments, ‘Les Lionnes’, one of three teams together with Nigeria and South Africa are look- ing no further than the ultimate at home. The host are housed in Group A alongside Egypt,
South Africa and Zimbabwe. “Every team that has qualified for the Women’s Africa Cup of Nations is strong. We cannot underrate anyone. I am expecting very tough matches against all our opponents. I can’t pick up one and say we will look out for them,” Ngachu offered.
“We need to take a match at a time and give our best. We are banking on the home support and we can’t afford to let them down,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the representative of the Governor of the Littoral region, Mr Etienne Ludovic Ngbwa received Falcons players and officials on arrival at the Douala International Airport, Wednesday night.
He welcomed the reigning African champions with these words: “I am here to bring the goodwill message of the Governor to you. To welcome the Nigerian contingent to Cameroon and wish the team a successful outing at the Women AFCON.”