By Monica Iheakam
Nigeria’s Super Falcons will, today, face Russian champions, CSKA Moscow ladies, in their first match at the ongoing Turkish Women’s Cup in Antalya.
The all-important cracker will be American coach, Randy Waldrum’s first outing with Falcons since he was appointed head coach four months ago.
Waldrum will head to the turf with a depleted team as four of his key players withdrew from the 10-day tournament.
The affected players are Atletico Madrid striker, Rasheedat Ajibade, Paris FC goalkeeper, Chiamaka Nnadozie, SL Benfica midfielder, Christy Ucheibe, and Eskilstuna United midfielder, Ngozi Okobi-Okeoghene.
The team defied harsh weather conditions, yesterday evening, to hold their first outdoor training session, ahead of the clash today.
Earlier yesterday, all the players and officials took part in the mandatory COVID-19 tests at their Emir Hotels, in Antalya.
Nine-time African champions, Nigeria and Equatorial Guinea’s Nzalang Nacional have been lumped into the same pool, alongside Uzbekistan, with the Guineans handed an opportunity to address a 6-0 spanking by the Nigerians in the group phase of the 2018 Women Africa Cup of Nations finals in Ghana.
The Falcons will aim to become the first African side to triumph at the tournament, following the third place finish by Ghana’s Black Queens last year. Chile won the trophy with Hungary as runner-up.