Nigeria’s Super Falcons, hopes to extract their pound of flesh and redeem their image against France as they face host nation in a grudge last Group A match today in Rennes.
Falcons third on the log with 3 points thanks to their 2-0 drubbing of North Korea last week, needs just a draw to reach the knockout rounds of the FIFA World Cup.
France top the standings in Group A after they won their first two games, while Norway are second on three points following their 3-0 win over the Falcons.
This is the third time Nigeria and France will be locking horns, but the host has always had an upper hand against the African Champions in their previous meetings.
At the 2011 World Cup in Germany, France managed a 1-0 win over Falcons in the group stage, courtesy of Marie-Laure Delie strike in the 56th minute, but the Thomas Dennerby tutored women, suffered their most embarrassing defeat in the hands of the Les Bleus during an international friendly in 2018, which ended 8-0 in favour of the hosts.
What makes today’s game much interesting, is the fact that it will be an opportunity for some club teammates to meet again.
For Nigeria captain Desire Oparanozie, meeting with hosts this evening at the Roazhon Park in Rennes will be like playing on “home soil“.
“I’m excited playing in France and playing against France as well. I have a couple of my friends in the French team.
“When you’re playing against the host nation, you’re not just playing against 11 players, you’re playing against the crowd,” warned Oparanozie.
Her teammates in Gu- ingamp, Julie Debever, Emelyne Laurent (on loan from Lyon) and Solène Durand have all played with Oparanozie this season.
“I know her( Desire) pretty well because I play with her at Guingamp”, said the French goalkeeper.
“When we saw we were going to play each other, she gave us some sticks at training. She was like ‘I’ll score a goal against you, I’ll score a goal against you’.”